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Richard Racusin does weight resistance as Dr. Barry Franklin monitors.
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Taking time to modify your
lifestyle can invigorate your
heart and extend your life.
Robert Sklar I Contributing Editor
As concern mounted, Rosin and Dr.
Nishit Choski, a Beaumont cardiolo-
gist, ordered a cardiac catheterization
— a diagnostic test to check blood flow
in the arteries that supply the heart.
Racusiris test showed one 90-percent
coronary artery blockage and two
"The doctors advised me that bypass
surgery would be preferable to any
other option," says Racusin, who agreed
to share his story with the JN during
February, American Heart Month, in
hopes of inspiring healthier lifestyles.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in
America with more than 2,300 people
dying from it each day.
On Wednesday, May 7, 2008, Racusin,
then age 60, with the loving support of
his wife of 34 years, Ellen, underwent
quadruple bypass surgery at William
Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.
"The following Sunday:' the Oak Park
resident recalls, "I went home to begin
recovery. I walked the neighborhood,
meeting my two-legged and four-legged
Racusiris upbeat attitude provides a
better chance of paying long-term
dividends. Says Barry Franklin, Ph.D.,
director of preventive cardiology and
February 28 • 2013
cardiac rehabilitation at Beaumont
Health Center, 11/2 miles north of the
Royal Oak hospital, "After a diagnosis of
heart disease, patients with more favor-
able expectations generally demonstrate
Racusin, who holds a bachelor's
degree from the University of Texas and
a master's degree from the University
of Michigan, retired in 2009 after 34
years as a roof-
ing consultant at
Associates, Oak Park.
He now volunteers at
his Oak Park syna-
gogue, Beth Shalom.
He's an usher, coor-
dinates the morning
minyan meal and is
men's club treasurer.
reading, photography and gardening.
He has come to love walking as a mental
and an emotional stimulant.
For years, Racusin had been over-
weight. He says he should have learned
the warning signs from his parents and
a younger brother, all of whom had cor-
onary heart disease. He never smoked,
but says he was exposed to secondhand
smoke regularly while growing up in
Corpus Christi, Texas.
"Thirty-five years ago:' Racusin says,
"I should have started controlling my