Local man feels prepared
As John March worked in the yard of his Valencia home on Saturday, August 7, 2004, he felt what seemed like a bad bout of indigestion.
March went inside his house, took an aspirin and then a bath to try to relieve his discomfort. As he rose from the tub, he noticed his energy progressively depleting.
“I didn’t even have the energy to dry myself,” March recalled. “My wife (Barbara) came in and I said, ‘I have horrible heartburn and no energy at all. Something’s wrong.’”
Barbara March immediately drove her husband to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, where March learned from cardiologist Robert Horth, M.D., that he was suffering a heart attack.
A helicopter was quickly summoned to transport March to a hospital with a cardiac catheterization lab, where March underwent balloon angioplasty—a surgical procedure for re-opening a clogged artery. A stent (a wire mesh tube) was then used to prop open the artery cleared by the angioplasty. After the procedure, March felt a world of difference and two days after his heart attack, March returned home.
March subsequently became a patient of Horth’s and began following Horth’s advice for maintaining his heart health.
“I thank God that Dr. Horth drove home the point that the only way to keep my bad cholesterol ratio in check was with proper nutrition, supplements, medicine and exercise,” March said.
Since becoming Horth’s patient, March, 65, adheres to a healthy exercise regimen including weight lifting, sit-ups, push-ups, biking and walking at least a few miles each week.
In concert with his healthy lifestyle, March plans to participate in Henry Mayo’s 23rd annual “Run for the Health of It” 5-K run and walk Saturday, September 29. The event will take place at the Henry Mayo campus and is open to community members.
March’s cardiologist, Robert Horth, M.D., an avid supporter of the family-friendly and health-oriented 5-K run and walk benefiting patient care services at Henry Mayo, said cardiovascular exercise can help decrease one’s risk of heart attack and stroke while raising good cholesterol and decreasing bad cholesterol.
Community members who plan to participate in the “walk” portion of the event can start preparing by walking a few weeks ahead of time and increasing the distance they walk gradually. Community members planning to run at the event may start their cardiovascular exercise two times a week for 20 to 30 minutes, gradually increasing their sessions, Horth said.
The day of the event, registration will open at the Henry Mayo parking lot at 7 a.m. The 5-K run will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the non-competitive walk. The event will also include a 1-K “Kiddie K” run for children under 10 years of age beginning at 8:15 a.m.
Community members who pre-register by September 21st, may enter the race at a discounted rate of $20. The fee for pre-registered groups of five or more is $18 per person. After the pre-registration date has passed, the entry fee will be $25 per person. T-shirts will be distributed to participants the morning of the event. Sponsorships for the event are available and range from $100 to $5,000.
Those wishing to participate in the event can register online through active.com or through the hospital’s Web site beginning Aug. 10 at www.henrymayo.com .
For more information about participating or sponsoring the “Run for the Health of It,” please call the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation at (661) 253-8082.