Seven years ago, Ken Reynolds of Lexington lay on an operating table with doctors performing open-heart surgery on him.
A surprise heart attack at the age of 66 woke him in the middle of the night, and quadruple by-pass surgery was needed.
After an 11-day stay in the hospital, Ken began cardiac rehab to heal his heart. To maintain his heart health, he has continued exercising five days a week ever since then at the Orthman Community YMCA.
Ken is a local veterinarian and has owned and operated Plum Creek Veterinary clinic since 1980.
“As a veterinarian, I always felt that I got enough exercise in my profession on a daily basis and didn’t have time to exercise otherwise,” Ken said.
And, with normal cholesterol levels and normal lab results, Ken didn’t think he had to worry about a heart attack.
But, it happened. And, the emergency middle-of-the-night surgery was a wake-up call.
“I was pretty lucky to pull through that,” Ken said.
Fortunately for Ken, the Orthman Community YMCA was in the beginning stages of operations in Lexington. He started exercising on the treadmill at the YMCA in January 2013 when it was located in the old library.
Ken has continued his exercise routine now for seven years. His goal is to walk four miles per day at an incline at least five days a week, which takes him about an hour and 15 minutes each day.
“I just have to make it a priority to take that time and go in the middle of the day,” Ken said. “I guess it’s just part of the new normal.”
Ken said prior to his heart attack, he was about 15 pounds overweight. He has now been able to maintain a weight that’s 10-15 pounds less than his pre-heart attack weight thanks to his daily treadmill workouts.
While not everyone follows their doctor’s orders when it comes to exercise, Ken’s heart-attack experience has made exercise a priority for him.
“It made me realize that every day is a blessing,” Ken said. “God must have something he wants me to do here.”
He and his wife, Jane, have seven grandchildren and three other special kids in their lives that they enjoy watching grow up.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to follow them and all their school activities,” Ken said.
As far as the Orthman Community YMCA, Ken said he has nothing but praise for the staff and the facility.
“I think as a community, we are very fortunate to have this facility here,” Ken said. “And just to be able to combine it with our school system is fantastic.”