CARDIAC REHAB A heart disease diagnosis doesn't have to sideline you. REHAB FOR HEARTS Cardiac rehabilitation can make all the difference for people with heart problems 18 W IN TER 2017 The diagnosis was a devastating blow. Her doctors wondered if she needed a heart transplant. Her ejection fraction score, which measures the percentage of blood leaving the heart with each contraction, was about 20 percent. Normal is 55 percent or higher. Fortunately, Cox also left with a referral to cardiac rehabilitation. "I had an expectation that it wouldn't make a difference," she says. "I did what I needed to do, but I never expected that things would improve." PHOTO BY GLOW IMAGES Linda Cox was 59 when she had a heart attack. A delay in treatment led to permanent damage to her heart. She did OK for a while, and then, about eight years later and after two trips to the emergency department, she learned she had congestive heart failure.