Michael Cole – Cardiac Rehab Success Story

The Real Rehab

How Methodist Charlton helped Michael Cole trust his heart again

You could say a lot of things about Michael Cole: encouraging, committed, friendly, giving, and always moving. He’s not exactly the kind of guy to let life pass him by.

“I’ve been with Coca-Cola for the past 39 years as an account executive for the national retail sales team,” Michael says before quickly adding one of his other passions.

“I’ve also helped support the Dallas Cowboys public relations department for 23 seasons. I manage the phones on the sidelines for the visiting NFL teams.”

Michael Cole "I got a second chance, and I'm not even
close to done yet." —Michael Cole

“In the early ’90s, I was 320 pounds,” he says. “Now I’m 230, but back then, I was big. I mean, I played Bubba in Shenandoah’s ‘If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)’ video.” But that’s not all Michael dabbles in. He also has a colorful past in the music industry — one that says a lot about his present.

A close call

Back then, Michael knew he needed to take charge of his health if he wanted to keep going. Through diet and exercise, he dropped the weight and gained another life, but still, family history worked against him.

“My sister died at 42 from a heart attack, and my mom had two stents placed after a heart attack of her own,” he says.

These factors culminated for Michael on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year. He was eating with his wife when he started to feel a lot of pressure in his chest. Paramedics got him to the hospital just in time to be stabilized and hold off a full-on heart attack.

Rehabilitated confidence

Michael Cole with his wife Trusting his health, Michael Cole is taking
walks with his wife, Donna, again.

Michael had three stents placed to restore blood flow to his heart, but the difference between a healthy future and a heart attack depended on lifestyle changes — ones that he learned in the Methodist Charlton Medical Center cardiac rehabilitation program.

“Our patients experience a shift in both their physical lifestyle and their emotional and mental outlook,” says Mike Crayton, RN, CCRN, supervisor of cardiac rehabilitation. “Even 10 years after completion of the program, the majority of our patients are still reaping the benefits of what they have learned.”

Crayton says he saw a shift in Michael’s physical appearance as he adopted heart-healthy eating habits and an exercise routine. But more important, he saw Michael’s attitude change.

“Here’s the key: They aren’t just a rehabilitation facility for your body,” Michael says. “They rehabilitate your confidence, too.

“I used to walk with my wife almost every day, and I was honestly afraid to get back to it. But they teach you not to be afraid, and they’re with you every step you take.”

Now many months past his stent placement and that close call, Michael is back to walking, golfing, working, volunteering with the Cowboys — and doing it all with the confidence of a healthy man with a healthy future.

“I got a second chance, and I’m not even close to done yet.”