Rehab program gets man 'back in the game'


James Williams exercises at Edgecombe Vidant Hospital.


From Contributed Reports

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Every once in a while you come across someone truly extraordinary, and that is the case with James Williams.

Williams has been through some hard times in his life, but he has never given up hope on becoming his best self. His positive demeanor helped him get through many hospital stays, including one where he became an amputee.

Williams participated in the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital. At the beginning of the program, he couldn’t walk one lap around the indoor course. He spent many of his days sitting inside his house not feeling motivated at all. After a successful three months in each program, both Cardiac and Pulmonary, he is able to do much more of his favorite things, including picking blueberries, riding his four-wheeler, fishing and hunting.

“James is a survivor, despite what he has been through,” says Bo Edwards, a nurse in the CVPR program. “He has a positive attitude, and I’ve never met anyone like James.”

The program consists of using weights and stretch bands as well as cardiovascular activities like walking on a treadmill and using an exercise bike. He credits the program and the team members at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital for getting him through some pretty rough times.

“It’s the people as much as the program that got me through,” he said.

He even was allowed to visit with his very special friend, his dog Tiger, while here in the in-patient rehab unit. Edwards wheeled him outside to the gazebo where Tiger was happily waiting.

Williams has a lot to be thankful for in life, including his wife, five children and 10 grandchildren. But he is also thankful for the CVPR program for getting him “back in the game.”

“I don’t know why God is keeping me here,” he said, “but there is a reason.”

For more information about the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, call 252-641-8668.