Cardiac crisis hit close to home for Gayla Oakley

Bob and Gayla Oakley
Gayla Oakley, RN, CCRP, MAACVPR has always advised her staff at the Boone County Health Center (BCHC) in Albion, Nebraska, to “treat each cardiac rehab patient as if he or she were your parent.”
But what about when a loved one actually does suffer a cardiac event and lands in your facility? What if that someone, as Gayla had the misfortune of experiencing, is your spouse? Are you more emotional? Is it better to treat them yourself, or to hand that responsibility off to someone who is less attached? Here’s how Gayla navigated a cardiac crisis that hit close to home:
Unexpected Twist
Married to Bob for 47 years, Gayla was well aware of her husband’s familial risk for cardiac problems. At just 50 years young, his father had died of heart disease. But by all accounts—including his doctor’s—Bob was doing everything right to prevent a similarly tragic outcome and, in fact, had already outlived his dad by nearly 20 years.
An unexpected problem during a routine stress test last summer, and Bob would require a four-vessel bypass surgery.
Complete story by Denise Williams of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation in the Feb. 16 Albion News/Boone Co. Tribune, print and e-editions.