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Lancaster completes St. Rose rehab, continues exercising at gym
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Larry Lancaster of Great Bend demonstrates part of his earlier St. Rose Cardiac Rehab regimen, while Mike Penn, R.N., takes his pulse. Both men want to share information to encourage other heart patients. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

               Mike Penn, R.N., said it was “obvious from day one” that Larry Lancaster didn’t want to be there.

            Lancaster, Great Bend, had been referred to Cardiac Rehabilitation at St. Rose Health Center following a heart-valve replacement and single-bypass surgery.

            “Larry thought it would be a grand waste of time,” recalled Penn, Cardiac Rehab nurse. “After several visits, however, he started to warm up to it. But the most surprising thing is what Larry is doing today.

            “He followed our advice and is now exercising regularly; he is in the Top 5 for attendance at a local gym. It is not uncommon for people to be resistant but Larry is testament to what can be accomplished.”

            Penn noted it isn’t uncommon to resist rehab but many patients discover they want to follow through. For some, it even becomes a social event.

            Both men shared this story to encourage other heart patients.

            Lancaster, 69, acknowledged he wasn’t the most cooperative patient in the beginning.

            “In fact,” he laughed, “they probably never had a patient so resistant. I was not looking forward to rehab at all.

            “As time went by, I actually started looking forward to it. I was feeling better and the Cardiac Rehab staff is good – they are so good. They can sense when you are struggling physically or emotionally, and help you through it. They are very attentive.”

            Lancaster’s heart procedures were performed on March 8, 2016. He was referred to rehab and then learned Penn is a nurse at St. Rose’s Cardiac Rehab.

            “I had known Mike for years, and trusted and respected him,” Lancaster said. “It was a no brainer at that point. But that didn’t mean I had to look forward to rehab.”

            He reported for duty Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 12 weeks. His program entailed 15 minutes on each machine - the treadmill, stationary bike and recumbent stepper. Another 15 minutes was devoted to stretching.

            “When that was over, I started going to the gym,” Lancaster said. “I started with three days a week and now I go five days a week. It became a habit, just part of the routine.”

            The Great Bend man, who works part-time calling on oilfield-chemical customers, also noted that 11 years ago, he had a triple bypass.

            “I ignored the obvious back then; you know the male mentality, don’t you? Then around Christmas 2015, I had bronchitis. I thought I was over it but I wasn’t.

            “Eleven years ago and then again last year, I knew something was not right,” Lancaster said. “I had no energy or stamina. Now I have both.”

            St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, Imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Physical Therapy, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.


St. Rose Health Center complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age disability, or sex.