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Getting My Dad Certified

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Aerosynth, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    Title pretty much says it all, but I will explain.

    Ever since I took my cert classes and did my cert dives, my father has expressed a major interest in going through the certification as well.

    Here's the thing: he's 58 years old, recently recovered from cancer, and had heart surgery about 15 years ago. Yet, he's very strong and doesn't smoke, drink, or anything like that. He's a contractor, has been all his life, and still works every day. He's healthy now but has a medical history following him.

    Even in my very brief scuba experience, and in my very few dives so far, I have seen people older and in worse shape than him hopping into the water. I have zero doubt that he could handle the physical requirements involved in diving.

    I would love to encourage him do it, if possible. But the question is, how hard would it be to get him certified given his medical history?

    Any thoughts or input appreciated. :)
  2. Can't swim

    Can't swim Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Front Royal,VA
    Probably otta get a doctor with knowledge of diving to check him out. Contact DAN for doctor in your area.
  3. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Given you know he has some medical history I would just get ahead of the game and go to your LDS, ask for the medical form, schedule an appointment and have the doctor give him a physical.
    If you want a doctor familiar with diving you can contact DAN and they can give you contacts in your area.

    edit: Heres the medical form you can download and print off
  4. deadly_risk

    deadly_risk Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    He will definitely need medical clearance, and he will need a stress test (and ought to have one). Debersole here on SB, who is a diving cardiologist, has posted before as to what his criteria for adequate performance on a stress test for a would-be diver are -- you might do a search on his posts.

    If the cancer is in remission or cured, it shouldn't be an issue, unless he has received chest irradiation or certain chemotherapeutic agents which are toxic to the lungs. Again, his physician will be able to sort this out.

    Assuming his grafts are patent and his cancer treatment is over and was successful, there is every possibility that he will be cleared to dive.
  6. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    Medical Clearance will be mandatory for the conditions you describe. However, no worries...Ihad a student last year who was 55 years old, had a heart attack 3 years ago, followed by a stroke during recovery. This guy is one of the best divers I have ever dove with, and i still do so regularly. Anyone can learn to dive as long it is not a risk to their health or well being.
  7. Johan Broere

    Johan Broere Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
    Dive within your limits. Many days we go to the beach to relax and some of us only make one dive and relax some more. Photography is also very relaxing. Some people like to swim 7 miles and others are happy with 50 feet. So, find an instructor that can accommodate him. There are no time limits on anything. Enjoy getting certified. Life is a beach and I dive.
  8. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    Thanks everyone for all the informative answers!
  9. fjpatrum

    fjpatrum Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: DC area
    The other person who was doing the OW dives with me was a current Chemo patient. She was fine and most of her issues were due to her own nervousness.

    I'd say, if your dad's doctor will clear him and he feels up to it, he should go for it. Any day he doesn't feel up to diving he can always thumb and come back when he is up for it.
  10. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    One of my all-time favorite dive buddies was 55 when she learned to dive. I was the DM for her OW class ... and she had signed up for the class as a reward to herself for surviving cancer treatments. That was seven years ago, and she now has hundreds of dives all over the world.

    With medical clearance, a positive attitude, and an honest self-assessment of what his physical limitations are, I'd say your dad probably has years of diving experiences ahead of him ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)

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