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Lung transplant recipient reaching health goals with the help of the Carle Health Proctor Rehab team

Lung transplant recipient reaching health goals with the help of the Carle Health Proctor Rehab team

A Glasford man is conquering his health goals with the help of the pulmonary rehabilitation team at Carle Health Proctor Hospital – and he is helping others in the process.

Russ Taylor, A 63-year-old lung transplant recipient, has worked with exercise specialist Dana Myers and her team since 2016. Twice a week, he completes a workout routine consisting of a treadmill, elliptical, arm bike, rowing machine and more.

“I like to switch it up instead of doing the same thing the whole time,” Taylor said.

Taylor has undergone a long and rigorous health journey.

In 2007, a respiratory test confirmed he could not return to his career as a painter. A few years later, he started using oxygen therapy and, in 2016, began seeking evaluation for a lung transplant.

To be eligible for a transplant, Taylor needed to achieve certain BMI, weight and endurance goals. It was then that he started working with Myers and her team.

“He brought those goals into rehab, and that’s what we focused on. We started by doing the treadmill, focusing on his weight and educating him on diet,” Myers said.

Taylor utilized two 4-liter oxygen tanks, which he brought with him to every session.

Myers credits his resiliency, recalling he always knew his goals and kept along with every milestone.

“I have seen Russ battle so hard. He works so hard to achieve anything and everything. He never, ever gave up. There wasn’t a time that I didn’t see the fight in his eyes,” Myers said.

“They were very helpful – they’d help me out with whatever needed to be done,” Taylor said.

Taylor worked hard, completed every requirement and received his lung transplant in Nov 2020.

He said his exercise and dedication made a massive difference before and after the procedure.

“I had been there exercising for quite a while, and it showed,” Taylor said. “I was on two tanks of oxygen when I started, and now, I don’t need them. I don’t have to have a CPAP at night either.”

“I watched him carry in those tanks for years and years. The day he walked in without anything, there wasn’t a dry eye in the building. It was an amazing sight,” Myers added.

Taylor continues to meet with the team twice a week to work on endurance and maintain his weight and blood sugar levels.

In addition, he is open about his experience and shares it with other patients to help them in their recovery.

“It really helps keep me motivated. When I miss a session, I just miss the team and the routine,” Taylor said. “My body expects it, and it helps keep me moving. It can help others do the same.”

Myers refers to the Proctor rehab team as one big family, and they treat Taylor as one of their own.

She adds the most important goal is to help him and others walk and move as much as possible.

“It is the best thing for them,” Myers said. “Unfortunately for pulmonary patients, the damage and disease they have is not always reversible. Our goal is to prevent further damage and help maintain the strength they have – not just with exercise but also with diet, psychosocial and medication advice. That teaches them the exercise aspect but also what to do at home.”

Taylor adds he always looks forward to his rehab sessions and credits his families – both at home and at Proctor – for their support every step of the way.

“My wife makes sure I stick with it like a full-time job,” Taylor said. “Whenever I need something, I just ask, and the team gives me support. They keep telling me, ‘You sure have come a long way.’ I just really enjoy going over there.”

“I adore our team,” Myers added. “We are going to make this process as easy as possible for you – we just want to educate and improve the lifestyle of our patients.”

Categories: News, Article, Story, Person

Tags: carle, exercise, lung, proctor, pulmonary, rehab