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Quadruple bypass surgery is not stopping Howie Wheeler from living his dream of climbing Mt Fuji. CMC’s Dr. Westbrook performed his life-saving surgery just over a year ago, on July 30, 2013. Howie, who resides in Gofftstown, NH, has been a patient of CMC’s Cardiac Rehab and the Wellness Center ever since. This July he climbed Mt. Washington in preparation for his climb in Japan. Mt Fuji's summit is 12,388 feet, nearly twice that of Mt Washington.

“Climbing Mt Fuji is something I have always wanted to do and I am excited to be healthy enough to finally make my dream come true,” shares Howie.

In honor of the spectacular care he received at CMC, especially from Dr. Westbrook, he is asking friends and relatives to support his climb by making a donation to CMC so that the care he received at the New England Heart Institute is available to others.

To donate today simply click Mt Fuji. Please notice in Section Two select: 

  • Type of Gift—Support a Hiker
  • I would like to designate my gift in support of—Howie Wheeler’s Hike for NEHI

Thank you for your support and please check back for an update on Howie’s adventure!


"I hiked to the top of Mt. Fuji; and I hiked to the bottom of Mt. Fuji—That is, on the morning of Tuesday August 26th we hiked up to a “Hut” just below the 12,388’ summit and spent the night; and yesterday morning the 27th we got up at 4am to watch the sunrise and finish our one-hour hike to the top.  At about 7am I started my hike back down to the bottom.

The hike up and the hike down were two entirely different experiences. And for the record from a cardiac heath perspective at no time did I experience any symptoms!  No, shortness of breath.  No dizziness.  No headaches. No pain. No nothing!  And for me that speaks volumes about the gift that the folks at the NEHI gave me and all of the other CABG patients they’ve treated.

I tolerated the hike up very well both physically and mentally.  Even my follow hikers commented how well I was doing at 70 years old.  I was the oldest member of our group of 15.  The next oldest was 59.  The rest were "30-somethings”.

The hike down was a much different story.  Physically I struggled on the way down because I hadn’t properly trained for it.  Silly me.  All of my muscles that I seemingly never use started talking to me about two thirds of the way down.  The good news it didn’t result in any drama or emergency services, e.g. I didn’t fall, had no significant pain, and I didn’t stop!  I just trucked along very very slowly - - literally heal-to-toe strides - - and arrived back at our bus on time!  I’ll fill in the details when I get back home. 

Meanwhile please pass along my thanks to everybody at the Wellness Center and the CMC Cardiac Surgical Team; and especially my workout friends in the 9am Class for all their support and encouragement!   They all helped and inspired me and I thought about them every step along the way!

What I learned from this experience is this; it’s amazing what we can do and enjoy the older we get.  There is no better gift we can have as we age than good health and fitness.

And a special thank’s to you Mary Kay for inspiring me after my Cardiac Rehab was completed last fall to continue my “wellness workouts” at the Wellness Center.  It’s an awesome program run by awesome professionals!!  It has been and will continue to be a blessing for me in the years to come."

Donations to Catholic Medical Center
have assisted us in procuring the following advancements:

  • Hybrid operating rooms where real-time imaging can be evaluated during surgical procedures.
  • Technological advancements to the Breast Care Center which assist in earlier detection and comfort for patients.
  • The creation of the Special Care Nursery program at The Mom’s Place whose family centered developmentally supportive care has been a blessing to families with infants born at 34 weeks or more in need of extra care.
  • Education and advanced training for medical staff and nurses.
  • Programs for uninsured or underinsured senior citizens and children who otherwise might go without the healthcare, dental care or medication that they need.

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