Ron Rowe is an energetic, youthful senior who can still hit an inside-the-park homer, climb a tree with a chainsaw in hand, and chase the great grandkids. “I’ve never found anything in the Bible about retirement,” said Rowe, a still-active Florida Power & Light power plant retiree. “You’ve got to get out and be productive, do things for other people, get out and enjoy life. God said he came to give us life and give it more abundantly – I claim that promise. To do that, you’ve got to take care of your body too.”
That’s one reason why you’ll find Rowe three times a week in the cardiac rehabilitation room at LeConte Medical Center. Rowe has participated in LeConte’s cardiac rehabilitation program four times in an effort to reduce his risk of the heart disease that took the lives of his father and grandfather – body, by age 50.
Rowe experienced his first heart attack 16 years ago in Florida. At the time, he was working atop a three story structure fixing a power plant’s failing turbine. The heart attack was mild, but required three bypasses – one of which, the surgeon warned him, “might later give him trouble.”
After moving to Sevierville, Rowe had another surgery to replace the failing graft from his first surgery, and entered LeConte’s cardiac rehabilitation program. Since that time, Rowe has undergone three additional heart stent procedures, and each time has participated in the 36-session program.
“Every time I’ve come through here, it’s been a very heart-warming, educational experience,” he said. “I’ve never come in worrying about what I’m going to do to make it right. You have educated people here to teach you, and if they see a problem, they will immediately notify your cardiologist and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got something going on here. Let’s figure out what this is.’”
Rowe says his energy level has soared since his last stent procedure, enabling him to hit an inside-the-park home run and not even tire after rounding the bases. “To me, it’s all about your energy level,” said Rowe. “The more energy we have, the more we enjoy life. That’s about as simple as I know how to say it. And I want that.”