Former Governor Terry Branstad talked publicly today about his recent heart attack, his recovery and “life-style changes”. Branstad, who is 54, had a heart attack on December 18th. He was released from the hospital five days later. Branstad, who was Iowa’s Governor for 16 years, is a bit glad he’s not on the campaign trail, where he attended a good number of fried chicken dinners. He’s back at work, part-time; eating a low-fat/low-cholesterol diet; and starting cardiac rehab this week. Branstad has been a regular exerciser for 18 years, and admits he was surprised to find out one of his heart arteries was 100 percent blocked. Branstad’s doctors tell him his condition is partly hereditary.Branstad’s grandfather died of a heart attack at age 57. His mother, who smoked and had diabetes, died of a heart attack when she was 64. Six years ago, Branstad’s father had a blockage, underwent an angioplasty procedure and has a stent keeping the artery open. Branstad expressed thanks to those who sent well wishes, and for those who were on the scene and at the hospital when he had the heart attack.Branstad and his wife, Chris, worked out at a Des Moines Y-M-C-A, then Branstad had the heart attack when he got in his car. City workers nearby called for an ambulance. He says they did a great job. Branstad says the outpouring of cards and calls were “very humbling.”Branstad says he’s “counting his blessings” and feeling better every day.
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