Nesbitt has emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“I was a smoker for 50 years so I’m my own devil,” she said.
But, Nesbitt is no longer letting her past decision control her future.
“I just got to a point that I needed additional input and exercise to build myself up,” Nesbitt said. “I know my breathing will never get better but if I can do things so I can maintain where I’m at, I’m going to.”
On Dec. 3, Nesbitt began her 18-week journey to better health at CoxHealth Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab in Branson. Twice a week, Nesbitt makes the hour long drive from her home in Cedar Creek to rehab. There, she’s guided and monitored through exercise, educated about her disease and receives the support she needs to breathe and function at her highest level.
Nine weeks into her journey Nesbitt is starting to reap the benefits.
“I can tell a difference,” she said after a recent session. “I do more at home than I did before. I like that. It is good to tell myself that I’m going to get up and do something and actually be able to do it. It has built up my stamina.”
The sessions are individualized so Nesbitt is able to increase at her own pace.
“It is geared to help you gain what you can gain but there is not pressure,” she said. “There is encouragement.”
As much as Nesbitt is gaining from rehab, without the financial support of Skaggs Foundation, she could not have afforded it. In late 2018, Skaggs Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to CoxHealth. The grant provides funding to help cardiac and pulmonary patients who need rehab but cannot afford the vital service. The grant is expected to help roughly 200 patients like Nesbitt who are attending rehab at the Branson or Branson West rehab centers.
“I wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I have insurance but it doesn’t pay for therapy, or not much.”
To learn how you can help individuals like Nesbitt, call 417-348-8998.