Terry Chick: Road to Recovery

TRI CITIES -- It's now been five weeks since Action News Anchor Terry Chick has returned to work, and he really hasn't missed a beat. But it hasn't always come easy.

Terry's had to watch what he eats and is also going to cardiac rehab three times a week.

In August, Terry was suddenly diagnosed with severe heart disease. It started with chest pain while mowing the lawn. And within 24 hours of seeing his doctor, Terry was scheduled for quintuple bypass surgery.

It was a reality check Terry was hardly prepared for.

"When I got out of surgery, I couldn't walk around the house," he says. "I couldn't even walk around the living room!"

But it's why Terry is now so committed to his cardio-pulmonary rehab sessions three times a week.

He rotates his time between the treadmill, the stationary bike, the upper cycle, and the elliptical machine. From a self-professed gym novice, it's a big change.

But trainer and Registered Nurse Betty Johnson is monitoring Terry's every move. She says it's all about restoring heart function.

"You know, when you have your chest cracked open, or been told you had a heart attack, it's a very teachable moment. And people are often thinking, 'what can I do to make sure this never, ever happens again.'

Terry promises he is also committed to keeping up the routine, even after therapy ends. And the same goes for making healthier lifestyle choices. Yes, that includes eventually giving up the infamous cigars he is constantly chewing on.

"My goal is just to feel healthy," says Terry. "Really, that's it."

He also wants others to recognize the symptoms of heart trouble. For me, it's often pressure or squeezing in the chest, pain in the left arm or jaw, and shortness of breath.

Ladies may have similar symptoms, or they could experience something else entirely. In fact, many women have a heart attack and don't even know it. Their symptoms could include discomfort in their upper abdomen or lower chest, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue and nausea. Some women say it felt like they were getting the flu.

The best thing you can do when experiencing anything unusual is call 911.