Aaron Osborn is getting an early jump on heart disease prevention.
“With my family history, I know that something is going to happen at some point so I want to do what I can stay on top of it,” he said. Aaron explained that nearly every male on both his mother and father’s side of the family has experienced some type of heart problem, typically starting around age 40.
When his father experienced a traumatic “close call” and was rushed in for emergency quadruple bypass surgery in 2011, Aaron decided it was time to become more proactive about his own heart health. “My father was told that he was minutes away from not being here and that kind of scared me,” Aaron said. “At that point, my wife and I were getting ready to be married and I had just switched jobs. I was rather stressed out and I started having some chest pain. I was constantly worried that something was going to happen.”
Aaron went to see his primary care provider who recommended he enroll in Heart to Heart at Sarah Bush Lincoln to learn his risk factors. He was just 27 at the time. Heart to Heart offers men and women an opportunity to have several cardiopulmonary screens performed that may reveal potentially life-threatening diseases. It is designed to increase participants’ awareness of their health risks and to teach techniques that can help them avoid heart disease becoming a part of their lives.
Aaron was especially anxious to have the screening tests performed because of his symptoms. Thankfully, the tests provided Aaron with some much-needed peace of mind and he chalked up his chest pain to anxiety. “When I got the results back, it was like having a big weight lifted off my shoulders. It immediately changed my outlook,” he said. “Heart to Heart is an excellent way to find out where you’re at and what you need to work on. It was a very thorough analysis.”
Now 35, Aaron has repeated Heart to Heart twice with good results both times, though it has motivated it him to work harder at staying fit and lowering his cholesterol. Aaron does his best to eat healthy and he has ramped up his exercise habits with workouts five days a week at Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Center for Healthy Living. Aaron is also mindful about the importance of managing workplace stress because he often works long hours, including many on the road, as an engineer for North American Lighting.
“The Heart to Heart program is good for anyone that wants to gain a clear picture of their health status, and get a jump start at making life style changes,” he said. Aaron plans to repeat the program as a preventive measure to keep him on a healthy track. “Based on my family’s history, I feel like it’s probably going to be an issue for me later in life so I want to be proactive about taking care of it before becomes a life-threatening problem,” he said.
Aaron’s advice to others: “If you have a family history of heart disease or if there’s any reason for you to be concerned, don’t wait until you have a problem to go in and get checked out.”
With a wife and two beautiful young daughters at home, “I don’t want to leave anything to chance. I want to be around for all the events in my daughters’ lives so taking care of myself is a number one priority.”
For more information, or if you would like to participate in Heart 2 Heart, contact the Sarah Bush Lincoln Heart Center at 217 258-2561.