New cardiac rehabilitation service helps provide second chances


SSH_David Whiteman and Ryan DayTorquay resident David Whiteman was the first patient treated through St Stephen’s Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation service earlier this month.

Mr Whiteman is recovering from a cardiac procedure that involved the insertion of a stent to restore blood flow to a blocked artery in his heart. Mr Whiteman is accessing the St Stephen’s rehabilitation program to help aid his recovery and reduce the likelihood of a future cardiac episode.

Mr Whiteman said he initially didn’t realise the severity of his condition but is grateful he has been given a second chance and can access ongoing support at St Stephen's to regain and enhance his strength and quality of life.

“I think this program is a really important part of my recovery and the convenience of being able to access a quality service so close to home is fantastic,” Mr Whiteman said.

“I’m actually quite chuffed to be the first patient to use the service and think it’s important for others to know that it is now available locally,“ he said.

The new cardiac rehabilitation program is the first private cardiac rehabilitation service available on the Fraser Coast.

The program consists of 12-sessions, two days a week for six weeks, delivered by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of a dietician, pharmacist, occupational therapist, exercise physiologist or nurse.

Cardiologist Dr Harendra Wijesekera from CardioVascular Clinics said he sees cardiac rehabilitation as a central part of a person’s recovery from a heart attack, heart surgery or other cardiac event.

“It’s important the cardiac rehabilitation process begins as soon as possible after a cardiac episode is experienced as patients benefit from the education components of the program as well the individualised exercise program which helps re-build their strength and conditioning,” Dr Wijesakera said.

“The population here on the Fraser Coast is growing fast so I believe having this new service to meet local demand is a great for our entire community,” he said.

Mr Whiteman is looking forward to completing the program and making a full recovery and returning to his work as a mechanic and enjoying his beloved walks along Hervey Bay’s beautiful esplanade.

“I only wish it was a standard gym so I could continue attending and accessing the support and advice on an ongoing basis,” he said.

St Stephen’s Hospital is now accepting referrals to this program. For more information, please visit

Pictured: David Whiteman and Ryan Day, Exercise Physiologist and Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Coordinator

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