An avid golfer since his days in the United States Air Force (1961 - 1971), an unexpected odyssey recently took Bob from the course and nearly took him from those he holds most dear. But, the quick action by his fiance Julie, and the care of some very skilled medical professionals, has gotten him back on course.
At home in Palm Coasts Hammock Beach, on Saturday night, February 20, Bob felt unusual, maybe just indigestion, or something, he said not the typical pain in the chest or down the arm of a heart attack. He planned to see how he felt in the morning. Julie insisted on a trip to the hospital.
After entering AdventHealth Palm Coast's Emergency Department with chest pains, an electrocardiogram (EKG) was performed, as well as blood tests to check his enzymes. When those preliminary test results were a little abnormal, according to Julie, a heart catheterization was performed.
With a 95 percent blockage in his left main coronary artery, Bob was transferred to AdventHealth Daytona Beach, Florida, on Sunday morning. He was scheduled for a triple bypass on Monday in the Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute at AdventHealth Daytona Beach.
Bob and Julie were soon back home and closely following doctors orders. But, that is not the end of the story.
The morning of March 8, after a short walk, Bob was in his easy chair as Julie made the short walk to the kitchen.
When I turned around, he was white, his head was back, he wasn't breathing and he had no pulse, Julie said.
She called 911 and began administering CPR, which she continued until an ambulance arrived. Bob was transported to AdventHealth Palm Coast. Again, the staff in the Emergency Department was able to stabilize him before determining a course of action.
He was sent for the specialized care provided in the Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute where a second heart procedure was performed to insert stents and restore blood flow. Julie, and the friends and family who had gathered at the hospital, waited and prayed.
Bob quickly began to show signs of improvement and was moved from the Intensive Care Unit into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit on March 14. Soon, he was sent home with a diet and exercise plan, which included walking as much as he could and easing back into golf.
His doctors called the failure of two of the previous bypasses unusual, saying there was no rhyme or reason to it, according to Julie. Another unusual factor pointed to the amount of time Julie performed CPR and the potential complications from a lack of oxygen to the brain.
They said that with compressions done at home [by non-medical personnel], it's rare that he survived, Julie said. Timing had a lot to do with it and the fact that I didn't hesitate. He came back and he is fine.
A nuclear stress test followed soon after he was released and the results were, well, unusual.
The cardiologist told Bob that he had to make sure he was looking at the right file because the results were so good.
They are calling me The Miracle Man. Even the doctors are calling me that. They said, I don't understand why Number one, they didn't understand why I went into this and they didn't understand how well my heart was coming back.
But, Bob and Julie give all the credit to the first responders and the physicians, nurses and the rest of the staff at both AdventHealth Palm Coast and AdventHealth Daytona Beach, as well as their daughters Julies: Petra and Christy; Bobs: Kim and Courtney and the support of the many friends and family from church, Hammock Beach, the Rotary Club and so many more.
The experience carried Bob and Julie full circle and right back to playing golf.
Golf is a very humbling sport, Bob said. One day you can't miss, the next you lose six golf balls. However, it is outside, you get exercise (especially if you walk) and you are playing with a great bunch of people; both men and women.