Mended Hearts help mend others

PLATTSBURGH Bob Manchester, of Peru, certainly has a lot of heart. In Nov. 2005, he had a stent put in. He went through rehabilitation. He also lost 55 pounds. But to see him today, youd never know he had heart troubles. Chances are, if you live in the Plattsburgh-Peru area, you already know this man, known around the CVPH campus as the Mended Hearts Exercise Equipment Re-Use Technician. Thats the technical name for what he does - but in plain English, Manchester is a man that turns trash into gold, where cardiac patients are concerned. He collects used exercise equipment, cleans them up, makes any repairs needed and sees to it that they are put to good use. Im just an old retired Air Force guy with plenty of time on my hands, he laughed. I police the stuff up, see if I can make things work, and then I get the equipment out to cardiac patients that have had rehabilitation referrals, Manchester explained. I keep a running list of whats for sale on my computer, he said, but really I loan the equipment so that patients can use it to help with their recovery. Heck, I even go back and pick it up again if and when they are done with it - or dont want it anymore. Manchester said the Mended Hearts program serves cardiac patients who cannot afford to go out and buy their own equipment, or cannot get outside to exercise. I have a counterpart, Robert Cheeseman, who takes care of pick-ups in the Northern Tier/Chazy area, he said. Im not in this alone. And we are always looking for volunteers as well as used equipment. We have volunteers that help with the equipment and others that can go visit recovering patients.

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