Oak Brook Park District's annual Choose to Lose program ended with spectacular results in March with participants shedding 819 pounds in eight weeks, and one of them discovering a heart problem in time to save his life.
Directed by fitness supervisor Michael Delgado and sponsored, in part, by Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, the program began Jan. 13 with a focus on providing the support, education and motivation necessary to create a positive and healthy weight loss environment.
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The tools provided during the program proved to be crucial for Tim Bolt of Oak Brook.
Bolt, 55, decided to attend a free Cardiac Seminar Jan. 20 to earn a 0.5-pound bonus deduction for his team's weekly weigh-in. After listening to the information presented by Adventist Hinsdale Hospital cardiologist Dr. Gregory Lewis, Bolt started thinking something wasn't quite right.
His wife and teammate, Beth Bolt, encouraged him to take advantage of the complimentary calcium score screening Adventist Hinsdale Hospital provided to each Choose to Lose participant at the beginning of the program.
Using advanced, noninvasive CT technology and low-dose radiation, the calcium score screening takes an in-depth look at a patient's heart and blood vessels to determine the level of calcium buildup. The score can help determine the risk of coronary artery disease, even if no symptoms are displayed.
After viewing the results of the screening, doctors confirmed Bolt's fear: something was wrong. He was scheduled for bypass surgery at Loyola Hospital on March 11.
On the evening of the surgery, Delgado received the following email from Beth Bolt.
"Hi, Mike. I truly believe that it was a blessing you brought in the cardiologist. The seminar very possibly saved Tim's life. He had quadruple bypass surgery today and is doing well. I am sure we have some pain ahead but he looks great and is responding very well."
On March 14, Delgado released the official Chose to Lose results. Bolt's team, Twice As Nice, which included his wife and friends, Nancy and Howard Van Dyke of Lombard, had won the four-person team division, dropping 94.4 pounds, or 13.89 percent of their total body weight, in eight weeks.
Tim Bolt himself came in second out of 102 participants with a total weight loss of 33.2 pounds, or 15.47 percent of his total body weight.
The Choose to Lose program is offered each January as part of the park district's "New Year New You" wellness campaign. For more information on this program or to see the results, visit www.obparks.org/choose-to-lose.