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Vic, Open Heart Surgery

Thanks to Bristol Regional Medical Center, Vic can whittle to his heart’s content.

Vic was determined not to let a family history of diabetes and heart disease catch up with him, so he stayed ahead of it by cycling and hiking in the woods. In 2008, at the age of 58, he decided, as a precaution, to have a calcium screening of his heart. It revealed he had several blockages.

Vic underwent open-heart surgery at Bristol Regional Medical Center and, once recovered, quickly returned to his active lifestyle. In the decade since his surgery, he has started to slow down a bit, but he never lost his love for the outdoors.

Reflecting on his passion for hiking and a lifelong desire to learn woodworking, Vic started whittling hiking sticks from saplings he found in the woods. He made so many that he started selling them at stores and restaurants in neighboring towns. “Making hiking sticks has been really good for me,” he says. “It gets me out in the woods and living again.”