News from South Shore Health System

Mother and Son Find Healing in Cardiac Rehabilitation Close to Home

Posted by South Shore Health System on May 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

On Saturday, June 9, the Friends of Cardiovascular Care will host the 9th annual Set the Pace road race for heart health at South Shore Medical Center in Norwell.

Sandi and Dan Tobin.jpgOver the years, money raised from this event has helped purchase numerous pieces of medical equipment for hundreds of cardiac patients on the South Shore. The Tobin Family of Weymouth knows first-hand the benefits of this fundraiser.

In 2008, Dan Tobin became the youngest patient to go through the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at South Shore Hospital. Born with congenital heart disease, Dan was just 10 years old when he underwent major heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. Upon release, his cardiologist recommended a program for his recovery.

While grateful for a rehabilitation program, his mother Sandi was worried about the burden it would be for Dan and the family to travel into the city three times a week. Thankfully, the Tobins were thrilled to learn there was a program offered much closer to home. “You get the benefits of this amazing care and support without having to travel to the big teaching hospitals,” said Sandi.

According to Sandi, the staff at South Shore Hospital tailored the rehabilitation program to accommodate Dan’s small size and get him back on his feet. Through monitored exercise and education, Dan regained the confidence he needed to recover and resume a normal lifestyle.

Last year, at age 18, Dan underwent more heart surgery. Because his previous rehabilitative care at South Shore Hospital was so positive, he requested to go back to the program a second time. Once again, he had success and enjoyed working with his team close to home.

As a mother, Sandi watched Dan recover with the help of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. But in 2012 and 2016, the roles were reversed and she became a patient after suffering a heart attack.

Now, she can’t say enough about what it has meant to their recovery. “Having a heart attack is scary and then afterwards you are so frightened about what you can and should be doing,” said Sandi. “Every time you do something you wonder, will this hurt me? Through the program you have the support needed to move forward.  You are monitored by health care professionals so you have that sense of security.  It is reassuring when you don’t know what your heart will do.”

Sandi loves the yoga classes and says the educational component of the program is outstanding. She learned about her medications, nutrition, and heart warning signs. “It is a wonderful, well rounded, medically-sound program and I can’t say enough about how fantastic the people are who work there,” said Sandi.

After a life-changing event, the program provides the physical, educational, and emotional support patients need to move ahead with their lives.

Want to help hundreds of cardiac patients like Dan and Sandi on the South Shore? Save the date for the 9th annual Set the Pace road race. The 2018 race will be held at South Shore Medical Center in Norwell on Saturday, June 9. Proceeds from the event benefit cardiovascular care programs at South Shore Hospital. Registration is coming soon! Contact Barbara Wahlstrom at (781) 624-4170 for more details.

Topics: Heart Health, Specialty Care

Sharing As One

Welcome to Sharing As One, South Shore Health System’s blog. Our goal is to share regular doses of health news, expert insights to healthy living, wellness tips, and inspiring stories from ordinary people who have overcome extraordinary health challenges. 


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