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Cardinal Courier

Cardinal Courier

The Student News Site of St. John Fisher University

Cardinal Courier

President Rooney: An Inside Look at Recovery and Resilience

Photo+via+St.+John+Fisher+University+on+Flickr
Photo via St. John Fisher University on Flickr

President Rooney has been taking care of us for over eight years. It is now our turn to take care of him. 

In the fall of 2022, President Gerard Rooney was hospitalized for bypass surgery on his heart. His family has a history of heart disease, and he is the middle child of five boys who have all gone to a cardiologist to have their own health checked. Rooney was aware of his family history when it was confirmed that he had Coronary Artery Disease. 

For the past five years, he has worked with his cardiologist to monitor if his disease is progressing. His cardiologist advised him to call if he ever began to experience anything that’s different, no matter how small it is. One Monday, Rooney arrived at work and began to feel some pressure in his chest that became more frequent throughout the day. He called the cardiologist’s office and they advised him to go to the emergency room. The pressure was indicative that disease had progressed to the point where it was a problem that needed to be resolved. 

After a successful surgery and a recovery period, President Rooney is now in better health. However, there has been a change in how he lives his life. He now walks about 15 to 20 miles a week and has adapted to the Mediterranean diet. This diet consists of no red meat, more vegetables, fish, salads, beans and whole grains. He said it wasn’t hard for him because he was always interested in things that were better for him. 

During his recovery process the Fisher community stood by him. He said everyone’s thoughts, prayers, emails, cards, messages and food were important parts of his recovery. “I really felt so well supported just by the outreach, the concern, the support, and just people’s thoughts and prayers,” said Rooney, “and so it was really an important part of my recovery.”  

Fisher has a divisional structure meaning there are multiple vice presidents who lead the various divisions. While he was home, he kept in contact with the board of trustees, who were also in contact with the VPs. This helped everything move along smoothly during his period of recovery. 

Rooney is back to being involved on campus and spending time with students; he is able to get out and around and participate in different activities and events again, as well as help students move in. President Rooney is committed to taking care of himself and wants us all to do the same.

 

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