Last month, heart patient Brian Nash of Cincinnati was greeted with great fanfare at the Heart & Vascular Institute.
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It was a special Sunday. Brian was running in the annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race less than two years after heart surgery to repair his aortic stenosis. (Aortic stenosis is abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve, the main artery carrying blood out of the heart.)
During the race, Brian, 52, made a detour and stopped to run a lap around the sixth floor of the heart center and visit the staff there who had cared for him. He was welcomed with flowers and hugs.
“Mr. Nash has such a strong spirit, and we were very excited in anticipation of his return,” says Nurse Liz Matusz. “The nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, and even our patients, were out in the hall cheering him forward in his victory lap.”
Brian, an avid marathon runner, found out during a race in 2003 that he had heart issues. At first, he was told he would not be able to run again. In 2010, he had the surgery that saved him and his running career. Brian explained that he wanted to run the marathon here in Clevelandfor a “measurement of closure.”
Brian was one of more than 20,000 people to run in Cleveland’s 35th annual race on May 20. His wife, Martha, met him in the lobby of the Miller Family Pavilion and finished the marathon with him.
Brian is also member of the Cardiac Athletes, a group of people from across the country with heart conditions who have completed cardiac rehab programs and enjoy running and athletic events.
For more about Brian’s run, see this Plain Dealer article