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November 16, 2018

South Sioux City resident credits rehabilitation program with saving his heart
Lonny Book of South Sioux City uses the treadmill in Mercy Medical Center's cardiac rehabilitation facility in Sioux City.
Lonny Book of South Sioux City uses the treadmill in Mercy Medical Center's cardiac rehabilitation facility in Sioux City.
Michelle Kuester
Dakota County Star Editor

Most people consider vacations to be a lifesaver, but for South Sioux City resident Lonny Book, that might literally be the case.

Just over a year ago, the 72-year-old retired contractor with L & L Builders noticed a dizzy feeling whenever he stood up or sat down. He had a vacation coming up so he decided to get checked out in case there was a serious issue.

“I thought, 'I don't want to go to California and have a problem,'” Book said.

It was fortunate he went to the doctor because it was determined Book had two aneurysms, or a weakening in the vein which causes an enlargement on the artery wall, on the back of his heart and was in the process of having a heart attack.

Book had surgery at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City to fix his heart before any permanent damage took place.

“I'm pretty lucky, I'd say,” he said.

Ever since, Book has been taking part in weekly cardiac rehabilitation at Mercy to regain physical strength and revitalize his heart. The program sees about 100 people per day.

“This is probably the best kept secret in Siouxland,” he said of Mercy's cardiac rehabilitation program. “The nurses up here take their jobs very seriously and know everybody by their first names.”

Book lives in South Sioux City with his wife of 52 years Sallie. The couple have two children who graduated from South Sioux City High School– Lesa (Book) Morten and Lynnette (Book) Warnock.

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