Phil Brooks was waking up frequently in the middle of the night with trouble breathing but he didn’t think it was an indicator of anything wrong. At his wife Bernice’s urging, he finally went to the ER one night to discover that he had a weak heart that struggled to pump the needed oxygen. Further testing during cardiac rehab revealed that he had suffered a heart attack at some point and had partial blockages in all of his major heart arteries, including one 90% blockage. Following quadruple bypass surgery, Phil was inspired by his wife and his family to live a healthier life. Phil had lost his son a few years earlier and he was determined that his loved ones would not experience another loss so soon. After he walked down the hall on his own two days after surgery in front of the tearful eyes of his family, Phil knew he had to take action to continue his recovery journey and he joined the Torigian Family YMCA. “It’s a life-changing thing,” Phil said of his heart issues and surgery. “You have to change your whole outlook because if you don’t you’re going to be right back there if not worse.”

Phil is now a regular at the Y’s chair yoga class three times a week and he rarely misses a day. “The yoga is helping tremendously because I had difficulty being able to keep my balance and stand up because I had veins cut out of both of my legs,” Phil said. “I feel better than I have in 20 years just by continuing yoga and I think this Y program is wonderful.” His doctors say they can’t believe how well he is doing given the initial damage to his heart, even using the term “miraculous” to describe his recovery. The doctors credit Phil’s progress to his committed exercise routine at the Y. Phil’s dedication to his wellness is an inspiration to us all to live our healthiest life!