12:27 PM

Miles City Veteran Returns Home to Receive Care After Heart Attack

Ned Wilson

After 20 years in the military and another 10 years as a military contractor, Ned Wilson was making his retirement plans to return home to Miles City. It wasn’t until suffering a severe heart attack in Tampa, Florida earlier this year that he decided it was time to come home to be closer to his mother who needed care. 

His biggest hesitation before making the move was his concern about what type of heart care he would receive during his recovery after leaving a large metropolitan area. “After meeting Dr. Basmadjian and her team, it calmed all of my fears,” he shared. Dr. Carine Basmadjian, Cardiologist at Holy Rosary Healthcare, provides comprehensive heart care for patients in Eastern Montana. “I can usually think of six excuses not to come to the doctor, but she takes a friendly, whole person approach. She makes it almost fun,” said Wilson. 

Basmadjian shared about the impact of being able to provide the specialty cardiac care to patients, like Wilson, especially in rural areas. “It is so rewarding to bring these services to the patients in Miles City,” she said. “The patients are always so grateful for the care close to home because they understand the burden of having to travel long distances to receive speciality care.” 

To help Wilson get back to full strength and full health, Dr. Basmadjian prescribed cardiac rehabilitation for his continued recovery. As he gets close to completing his 36 sessions, he has seen great improvement in his stamina and health and built close relationships with his therapists. 

“They worked with me to understand that this wasn’t going to be a light switch change,” he said. “Sometimes I got ahead of myself and they used education, humor and a little tough love to share why the focus is on sustained improvement to get back to where I want to be.” 

Each week, the therapists have coached Wilson and other patients in the cardiac rehab class through a regime of exercises, including work on exercise machines, bikes, treadmills, and weightlifting, all while monitoring their vitals and progress. The comradiare between the patients and the therapists is apparent in just a few minutes. Cracking jokes and making it fun seems to be part of the motivation and healing. “They coach you through it, and they make it enjoyable,” shared Wilson. “I have been taken care of very well.” And it’s not just his therapists that get the last laugh. Wilson made Pam Hurr, RN, and Renee Chappell, Rehab Tech, hats that say drill sergeant as a way to say ‘thank you’ for the tough love they have been showing him week after week.  

Ned Wilson

“Ned not only excelled with his own rehab, but he was encouraging to his peers in his class,” shared Hurr. “Our patients become like family, we want the best for them and for them to learn what is important to continue to live healthy lives.” 

When looking at his next phase, Wilson is using this time in rehab to refocus and enjoy a less stressful pace of life in Montana. “I joined the Army in 1992 and I have never really taken the time to care for myself,” he said. “My goals are to complete my rehab, get back to normal, and see where it takes me.”