When the tendons simultaneously severed in both of Ed Arditti’s quadriceps in 1990, he found enormous value in exercising in a therapeutic indoor pool. Relearning to walk while also managing the chronic kidney failure that led to his leg injury, Ed was introduced to the benefits of exercising in water by physical therapists at Duke University School of Medicine.
Upon returning to his Conover home, where he ran a furniture manufacturing business, Ed was disappointed to find Catawba County offered nothing similar in the way of an indoor pool where he could continue his recovery. It was this healthcare event that prompted Ed and his wife Shirley to make a generous gift to the Catawba Medical Foundation, enabling the 1998 opening of its indoor swimming pool at the Fitness Plus center on the hospital campus.
“I found the buoyancy of water put less strain on my joints and created a safer environment where I didn’t worry about losing my balance,” said Ed. “Shirley and I wanted to give others in the area access to a pool where they could experience relief from the pain associated with numerous health conditions in an environment that caters to rehabilitation.”
Ed, a native New Yorker, attended Columbia University, before meeting and marrying Shirley, who lived in Atlanta. The couple raised their children here and, in addition to having two of their now adult children born at CVMC, they are also proud that five of their grandchildren were also born at CVMC. Now retired, the couple is passionate about the importance of attracting and retaining talented doctors and nurses in the area as well as providing them modern facilities, training and resources.
Shirley is a breast cancer survivor who underwent successful treatment at the CVMC Comprehensive Cancer Center. She says that she feels blessed to have such a fantastic public community hospital equipped with advanced technology and services close to home.
“We have been extremely fortunate and were happy to find an opportunity to have a direct impact to help others in our community – one that will continue to help future generations,” said Shirley.
According to April Berg, Fitness Plus Member Specialist, the pool which is kept at 88°F, is the warmest exercise pool in the area and those who use it for regular pool therapy or aquatic exercise testify that it is an excellent environment where they can improve their health and mobility in a non-intimidating environment. The water is kept at a comfortable temperature and the adult-only area means they don’t have to cope with kids playing or splashing nearby.
Learn more about making a donation to the Catawba Medical Foundation or take advantage of a free visit to Fitness Plus to experience an aquatic class or the benefits of pool therapy. Contact Fitness Plus at 828.326-3680 for more information.