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An American Heart Month Feature | Heart Attack Survivor Takes on the Hartford Half Marathon

February 26, 2021

Heart attack survivor, Reverend David Choquette from Pomfret, recently completed the virtual Hartford Half Marathon, while raising money for a cause close to his heart at Day Kimball Hospital (DKH) – the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program.

In August 2019, after suffering a heart attack caused by a spontaneous tear in his coronary artery wall, the 47 year-old enrolled in the hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Just ten weeks after his heart attack, he was back to running. It was an accomplishment, he said, made possible by the cardiac rehab staff at DKH.

“We are really lucky to have this resource in Northeast Connecticut,” said Rev. Choquette. “The cardiac rehab team is dedicated to their patients and committed to helping them get better. After a difficult experience, they made my recovery easier and helped me achieve my goal of returning to running.”

This keen runner found his love for the sport on his high school’s cross country team. He has carried his passion for running throughout his life, running daily for exercise and actively competing in half-marathons since 2008.

Now, only a year after his heart attack, Rev. Choquette stood at the finish line of his 15th half marathon, finishing the 13.1 mile race through Putnam and Killingly in just 2 hours and 5 minutes. While training for the Hartford Half Marathon, he raised $2,210 to give back to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

“In light of everything going on in the world, we were encouraged by the Hartford Marathon Foundation to raise money for local charities this year. Since the cardiac rehab team was instrumental in helping me back to fitness, I thought this would be a great way to pay it forward,” said Reverend Choquette.

“We are honored and thankful to have David give back to our program, said Carol Artiaco, RN and clinical coordinator, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Day Kimball Hospital. “This donation will benefit patient support initiatives within our cardiac rehab center, including educational materials and incentive programs.”

The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program at DKH is an outpatient program of supervised exercise and education, specially designed to help patients who have suffered a recent cardiac event to return to and maintain the highest quality of life possible. 100 new patients participate in DKH’s program each year.

DKH’s Cardiac Rehab Center is staffed by a team of registered nurses and an exercise physiologist who are educated and experienced in assisting cardiac patients in recovering from and preventing heart disease. The program follows the guidelines of the American Association of Cardiovascular Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the American College of Sports Medicine and meets national standards of excellence in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation patient care.

If you find yourself in need of cardiac rehabilitation, ask your provider to refer you to the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center located at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam. Learn more by calling (860) 963-6315 or visiting daykimball.org/hearthealth.

National Heart Health month is observed every February. It is a great chance to plan a visit to your primary care physician to talk about your blood pressure and any other symptoms that could lead to heart attack or stroke. If you need a primary care physician, the caring staff at DKH are accepting patients. To make your appointment, call 844-DKMG DOC (844-356-4362) or visit daykimball.org/booknow.

PHOTO CAPTION (left to right): Margaret Moskey, registered nurse; Carol Artiaco, registered nurse and clinical coordinator of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation; Reverend David Choquette of Pomfret; and Brenda Rich-Pike, exercise physiologist, at the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center at Day Kimball Hospital.


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Gurkirat Sandhu, MD

Gurkirat Sandhu, MD

Hospitalist

Dr. Sandhu is certified in advanced cardiovascular life and is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association.
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