From Sick to Fit – How One Dialysis Nurse Turned His Health Around

Meet your MRP: Jaynor Kahal, RN, SOGH Dialysis

Jaynor Kahal was working as a nurse in a Seven Oaks General Hospital (SOGH) dialysis unit when he started to feel dizzy and unwell. He asked a coworker to take his blood pressure and discovered his numbers were sky high. He was admitted to emergency where he recouped and later on he was prescribed blood pressure medication by his family doctor.

“I was 30 years old and already on that,” he recalls.

 With a family history of diabetes and hypertension, Kahal knew he needed to make a big change.

“My doctor told me, ‘yeah you can reverse it if you become healthy’.” Kahal says he was overweight but keen to feel better and avoid more health issues.

Picture of Jaynor in Zumba post on mat in gym“I got into Zumba by accident,” he says of what has become a three-year love affair with all things Zumba. He is now a certified Zumba instructor, on top of being a full-time dialysis nurse.

“I actually changed my body a lot. My physique is totally different. I’m off of my blood pressure pills for six, seven months now.”

Kahal teaches three classes a week and plans to add two more. His Sunday class is often full of the dialysis nurses he works alongside the rest of the week. He says he has seen major physical changes in some coworkers who have taken on his class.

“I am so proud of them.”

Recently Kahal was the only instructor chosen to represent Manitoba on a Zumba Canadian tour which took him to Ontario, the Maritimes, Quebec and New York. He also went to a Zumba convention in Florida where he was asked to return next year as an international presenter.

While his passion for Zumba continues to grow, Kahal says he won’t be leaving dialysis nursing any time soon.

“It’s the longest time I have spent in one unit and have no intention of moving because I just love it.”

His nursing journey started when he finished school in the Philippines in 2005. By 2009 he was a head nurse but needed to look for other opportunities.

“I was making only $300 Canadian dollars a month. This is not enough for me to support myself and help out my brothers and sisters who are in school.”

He passed up a nursing opportunity in Dubai to come to Manitoba, knowing that he could build a life in Canada.

“I don’t have any family here. I am by myself here in Manitoba and Canada.” When he came to Manitoba, Kahal spent time working as an emergency room nurse in Minnedosa. He remembers a serious accident near the town where a single vehicle crashed with seven passengers inside. Kahal was the only nurse on shift in the ER when he got the call that ambulances were on their way.

“I ended up calling code orange. There is such a thing as code orange in small towns – to call all the nurses to come help out.”

Kahal spent over two years in the town and that’s when he first dabbled in exercise.

“There is nothing else to do but run. I became healthy – more fit.” He found himself travelling to Winnipeg  to visit friends and decided to move. He worked at Grace Hospital before eventually moving to SOGH.

The move to Winnipeg had Kahal setting aside exercise for time with friends. This is when he gained weight back and found himself with climbing blood pressure on the unit one day.

Several years later he feels great and is excited about his plans to teach more Zumba classes and continue helping others to get in shape.

Visit Jaynor’s Facebook page: Z FORCE Fitness by Zin Jaynor Kahal

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