A newly refurbished and upgraded cardiac rehabilitation gym at Roscommon County Hospital was officially opened yesterday (Wednesday) by County football manager John Maughan. Mr. Maughan noted the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and spoke of the value of the exercise and praised everyone involved in the development of the new facility. Rosemary Thorpe, Cardiac Rehabilitation Co-ordinator told guests that the new gym was developed at a cost of €25,000. ‘As part of the move we have also gained a clinical consultation room which is essential for first time visits as a quiet and private area for discussion of questions or concerns with clients and their loved ones.’ The rehabilitation service at Roscommon County Hospital sees hundreds of patients each year. Patients are referred from Roscommon County Hospital, UCHG, The Galway Clinic, The Mater Hospital and Mater Private, as well as other Dublin hospitals. Elaine Prendergast, Acting General Manager at the hospital also addressed guests, saying, ‘This is a fantastic service for our patients in the cardiac rehabilitation programme and I appreciate the great work of our maintenance department in developing this cardiac gym.’ The service began in 2003 and since then has helped over 750 patients to date. The new gym began operating in March of this year. It features aerobic exercise machines, bicycles, treadmills, a rowing machine, stepper and hand crank. Patients are supervised at all times and are on heart monitors while exercising. Patients use the service twice weekly for eight weeks, usually beginning six weeks after their cardiac event. Other elements of the rehab programme include risk factor modification. Among the guests at the launch was psychiatric nurse and well-known singer Mike Keenan. ‘I think it’s a great facility. It brings out into the open the whole thing that there is life after a heart attack and dispels the myths and shows you can renew your life and reach your previous level of function given the right follow up.