VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been over a year since Virginia Beach resident Marjorie Moss found herself frozen in fear while walking her dog.
“I just had this chest pain that came from my neck and into my jaw. Being a woman, you know it’s very a typical type of chest pain, and I just got very scared,” Moss said.
Another Virginia Beach resident, Bryn Scola, knows that feeling all too well. He’s survived two heart attacks.
“I can tell you the one in 2018, I thought it was the end. It was crushing pain that I just could not take,” Scola said.
After the frightening incidents, both of them found their way to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.
Their doctors encouraged them to participate in the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program — it’s the only one of it’s kind in the state.
“With the right lifestyle change you actually can reverse chronic disease,” said program Director Sharon Henley.
The program has a documented record of reversing heart disease through a plant-based diet, exercise and participant support.
It includes a group curriculum that runs four hours twice a week for a little over two months.
“It was a godsend this program. It really was. When they first told me I couldn’t eat chicken, fish or meat, all the fun stuff you know, I was like you guys are nuts,” Scola said with a laugh.
“It is life-changing. I’m not having any more chest pain, I’ve lost the weight, I can manage my stress so much better,” Moss said.
However, somewhere along the way, Moss and Scola felt a lot more than the health benefits.
“She walked in and I kind of, you know, ‘Whoa,’ and it just really made me stop in my tracks,” Scola recalled.
Their friendship quickly grew.
“I had to get her phone number and I came up with this idea we’d all exchange numbers, so we got a list and I was like ‘Yes I got it,'” he laughed.
Then, it wasn’t long before they fell in love.
“When she walked in the door that first day — because I wasn’t looking at all — but I knew it, as soon as she walked in,” Scola said.
It’s been a year since they met in the program, but the happy couple is now engaged and ready to continue their healthy lifestyle side-by-side forever.
“He just makes my day brighter,” Moss said.
“Same here,” Scola said.