Have a heart healthy holiday season

December 15, 2009

Dr. Elizabeth Gold, cardiologist at the Virginia Mason Issaquah clinic, performs an exam Dec. 10 on Brooks Loop, 84, of Snoqualmie. By Greg Farrar

Dr. Elizabeth Gold, cardiologist at the Virginia Mason Issaquah clinic, performs an exam Dec. 10 on Brooks Loop, 84, of Snoqualmie. By Greg Farrar

With sleigh bells jingling and merry spirits, it’s likely you’re ready for the holidays, but is your heart?

Each year, nearly 785,000 Americans suffer a heart attack and more than 631,636 have heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. High cholesterol and high blood pressure, causes that lead to heart attacks and heart disease, are factors people should be aware of, according to Issaquah’s newest cardiologist, Dr. Elizabeth Gold.

Heart health is “essential, it makes us all go,” she said. “If your heart stops, that’s the definition of dying.

“There are a lot of issues with heart health,” she said. “One of the main ones is if you have a heart attack, severe enough, it could kill you. But there are other things that damage your heart muscle and can severely impact your quality of life.”

Those include heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, she said.

Gold started a new rotation with Virginia Mason’s Issaquah clinic Dec. 7 and has been helping patients and residents prepare to be more heart healthy this coming year.

The rotation program was started with the hope that patients would have more local access to specialists. With two successful cardiologist rotations in Bellevue and Kirkland, Gold’s rotation to Issaquah was a natural next step, according to Alisha Mark, director of communications for the hospital. Read more

Local family joins crusade to end the choking game

December 1, 2009

Kevin Tork

Kevin Tork

Stepping onto the stage at Chimacum Middle School in Chimacum Oct. 13, Ken Tork took a deep breath and began saving lives by confronting a deadly game.

Students throughout the state, nation and the world are playing the choking game and Tork said he knows two things about it: That it’s not a game and that it has deadly consequences.

Tork, his wife Kathy, and 11-year-old daughter Kelly Tork know all too well the game’s deadly consequences. The couple lost their only son, Kevin, a 15-year-old sophomore at Issaquah High School, to the game March 30.

Kevin’s death is the reason Ken Tork was called to Chimacum. On Oct. 7, medics arrived to care for a student who’d passed out after being choked by a friend before a third-period class.

Students play the game to get a high, which occurs when their brains are deprived of blood and oxygen. Read more

An advocate for arthritis

September 29, 2009

10-year-old named honoree for fundraiser

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Alicia Seidel and her mom Cynthia pose for a photo during Alicia’s lobbying efforts for research funds during the 2009 Arthritis Advocacy Kids Summit in Washington, D.C. Contributed

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Alicia Seidel and her mom Cynthia pose for a photo during Alicia’s lobbying efforts for research funds during the 2009 Arthritis Advocacy Kids Summit in Washington, D.C. Contributed

She swims, she plays soccer and she snowboards. By all accounts, Alicia Seidel is like many other 10-year-olds in the area: There’s just one difference — she has arthritis.

“I’m the only one at my school with arthritis,” said Alicia, an Endeavour Elementary School student.

“A lot of people know about arthritis, but they think it is something you get when you’re old,” said her mother Cynthia Seidel, who was also recently diagnosed with an arthritic condition.

Alicia is one of 294,000 children living with arthritis in the country. But she hasn’t let it slow her down. In fact, because of her determination and her message for research and a cure, she was named the honoree for Bellevue’s second annual Arthritis Foundation Walk Oct. 10. Read more

City, schools gird for possible swine flu outbreak

September 8, 2009

City and school officials are keeping close watch on information about the H1N1 flu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local public health agency. Read more

Skyline grad tips the scales in his favor

June 16, 2009

By Jim Feehan
Chris Darnell wanted to set a good example for children as a youth pastor. So, he shed 75 pounds this year and hasn’t put one pound on since.
“I figured I can’t teach kids to eat healthy if I looked the way I did,” said Darnell, 26, of North Bend.
Darnell underwent a rigorous, twice-daily workout, lifting weights and running on a treadmill as part of the Gold’s Gym Challenge. He and about 70 other individuals at the Issaquah, Redmond and Bothell Gold’s Gyms lost a combined 1,430 pounds during a 12-week span.
The weight loss is remarkable, given the number of Americans who are either overweight or obese.
After a quarter-century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years, but levels are still high — 34 percent of U.S. adults age 20 and over are obese, according to a new study released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report, Obesity Among Adults in the United States — No Change Since 2003-2004, is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
A former lineman on the 2000 state championship Skyline High School football team, Darnell said he was always a big boy. During his gridiron days at Skyline, he tipped the scales at between 250 and 260 pounds. On New Year’s Day 2009, he weighed 367 pounds; today, he weighs about 290, he said.
“I take pride in the fact that I did this for me,” Darnell said.
The pounds came off and stayed off by him eating a high-protein diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. He wants to drop 30 more pounds in the coming weeks.
“I want to be a sexy 260 pounds by my wedding in mid-July,” he said with a grin.
Helen Martin, 38, of Mercer Island, lost 18 pounds in 12 weeks and reduced her body fat to 11 percent. Thirteen years ago, a semi truck slammed into Martin’s Honda Accord on Interstate 5 in Seattle. The impact injured her shoulder and curtailed her weight-lifting regimen in the gym.
“Fortunately, my trainer at Gold’s also had a shoulder injury, so he tailored a training program that worked for me,” said Martin, a real estate agent based in Bellevue.
Martin recommends a good cardio workout, a diet devoid of cheese, butter, bread, pasta potatoes, candies, ice cream and cake. In addition, go easy on the alcohol.
“What made the difference for me was that I set a goal to lose weight, focused on that goal and achieved it,” Martin said.
Darnell said he eliminated dairy, whole wheat and processed sugar from his diet.
“Do it for yourself and not for someone else, eat smaller meals, and cut out the fast food and soft drinks,” he said. “We humans are grazers and we’re not built to eat three large meals a day.”
Darnell will eat six to eight small meals a day consisting of a slice of fruit, broccoli and perhaps a chicken breast.
Darnell operates a Kettle Corn stand outside the Issaquah Home Depot when he’s not working as an intern at Eastridge Christian Assembly church. His Kettle Corn stand affords a great view of Krispy Kreme, the donut emporium he worked at for 18 months.
“I really don’t crave it, but every once in a while I’ll have a Reese’s peanut butter cup,” he said.
Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or jfeehan@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.
Skyline High School graduate Chris Darnell, 26, weighed 367 pounds before joining the Gold’s Gym Challenge. Today, he’s down to 290.

Skyline High School graduate Chris Darnell, 26, weighed 367 pounds before joining the Gold’s Gym Challenge. Today, he’s down to 290.

Chris Darnell wanted to set a good example for children as a youth pastor. So, he shed 75 pounds this year and hasn’t put one pound on since.

“I figured I can’t teach kids to eat healthy if I looked the way I did,” said Darnell, 26, of North Bend.

Darnell underwent a rigorous, twice-daily workout, lifting weights and running on a Read more

City, schools prepared for swine flu

May 5, 2009

After several probable cases of swine flu were identified in King County, city and Issaquah School District officials said they were prepared if an outbreak occurs here. Officials took steps to reassure the public as the number of cases rose and officials elsewhere closed schools as a precautionary measure. Read more

City, schools prepared as swine flu arrives in King County

April 30, 2009

UPDATED — 9:15 a.m. May 1, 2009

Ten probable cases of swine flu have been identified in King County, public health officials said today.

Public Health – Seattle & King County spokeswoman Megan Coppersmith outlined seven new probable cases.

The cases include a woman in her 20s, four children ages 8-12, and two other children whose mother was previously reported as a probable case.

The cases announced Wednesday include three Seattle residents: a man in his 20s, a woman in her 30s and a boy who is a student at Madrona K-8.

Officials said the Madrona student is hospitalized and his condition is improving. Seattle School District officials closed Madrona K-8 this morning as a precautionary measure. The other people are not hospitalized and their conditions are improving.

Coppersmith said the infected people reside in King County, but did not have additional details. She said none of the reported cases are serious.

“These symptoms appear to be pretty mild,” she said.

Read more

Choking game flirts with disaster

April 28, 2009

Adolescents are playing a deadly game by choking themselves to get high. Read more

State concussion law would protect youths

March 9, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. March 9, 2009

In the third quarter of a middle school football game, Zackery Lystedt made a tackle that changed his life. It was October 2006. Lystedt was 13. Minutes after the tackle, he collapsed on the field.

“It’s obvious now, looking at the footage, that he suffered a concussion,” Rep. Jay Rodne (R-5th District) said.

A concussion is a sudden impact to the head causing a brain injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It can involve a loss of consciousness, but doesn’t always.

Rodne took a special interest in Lystedt’s case and resolved to prevent such tragedies from happening.

Read more

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