New Castle News

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January 25, 2010

CHANGE OF HEART: Jameson program embraces lifestyle changes

Bob Lawton took to heart his medical concerns. So did his wife, Rose.

Now thanks to a life-changing program, both have healthy hearts.

Without the Dr. Dean Ornish Program For Reversing Heart Disease, Bob Lawton, 81, said he wouldn’t be alive today.

“I never felt so good in my life,” he said, adding that a combination of eating correctly, moderate exercise, stress management and group support made all the difference.

But he wasn’t in it alone. For a true heart-to-heart experience, Rose Lawton, 71, teamed with her husband to make significant changes. Both concluded the pay-off was worth it.

“I had reached the end of the line,” Bob Lawton said. “I was up against the wall.”

So the Neshannock Township couple enrolled in the Ornish program at Jameson Hospital five years ago and has adhered to its guidelines ever since.


The major goal of the Ornish program is to make lifestyle changes to adapt to individual lives, said Joy Urda, program director and exercise physiologist at Jameson.

People who are contemplating bypass surgery or angioplasty, with significant risk factors including high blood pressure or high cholesterol, those diagnosed with coronary artery disease or diabetes or people with a history of cardiac events can benefit from what Ornish offers, she explained.

For the Lawtons, there were some crucial health issues.

Bob Lawton had a heart attack in 1991. After that, there were stents and in 2003, he had triple bypass surgery,

About that time, Rose Lawton became aware of Dr. Ornish. Wanting to lose weight, she realized there was a double advantage.

“My intent was because Bob had so many risk factors and I wanted to see if the program would help him,” she said, adding she had high blood pressure.

After being approved by their insurance company, the Lawtons embarked on a year-long intensive journey that has had multiple rewards.

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