Doctor and heart disease survivor leads annual heart walk

Bismarck-Mandan fundraiser returns after one year as a virtual event

heart walk survivor and wife smile in Bismarck

The return of the Bismarck-Mandan Heart Walk hits a bit closer to home this year for Sanford Health.

As the signature sponsor of the walk, Sanford is proud to have one of its patients leading the way as a featured heart survivor. That patient also works part-time for Sanford as an affiliated OB/GYN.

Dr. Woodrow’s story

“I have atrial fibrillation, which was discovered when I was going to have surgery some years ago,” said Dr. Peter Woodrow. “As a result of that, I had an angiogram, and it was discovered I had some blockages.”

Related: Find a heart screening near you

At that time, Dr. Woodrow had a stent put in, through the femoral artery near his groin. More recently, he needed another stent. This time, thanks to advances in the procedure, he was able to have the stent put into the radial artery in his forearm.

“It was night and day,” said Dr. Woodrow. “It was so much better going through the arm. Less pain, recovery was quicker, I didn’t have to lie still for hours (like I did with the femoral artery stent).”

Staying healthy while giving back

After his procedure, Dr. Woodrow and his wife Ruth noticed an almost immediate change.

“He had more energy almost instantly,” said Ruth Woodrow. “His color is improved. He goes out now and does exercising — Nordic walking — without feeling tired over it. It’s been a great improvement.”

Now Dr. Woodrow is giving back, helping to build awareness not just about the American Heart Association’s Bismarck-Mandan Heart Walk, but also about heart disease in general.

“To be featured as a survivor at the heart walk means that if I’m asked, I can tell people I know, friends, patients, that if they’re having symptoms, they should seek care about it. Go to their primary care provider and if necessary, be referred to cardiology.”

After a lifetime of helping patients, Dr. Woodrow became one himself. Now he’s a survivor who shows others how much heart he really has.

The Bismarck-Mandan Heart Walk begins at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 on the North Dakota State Capitol grounds in Bismarck.

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Posted In Bismarck, Community, Heart

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