“Truly Lifesaving”

Rusty Robinson at the racetrack in Daytona.
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It all began at 4:30 am when Umatilla resident, Rusty Robinson was awakened with severe pain between his shoulder blades. “I had some stents that were 11 years old and thought it could potentially be my heart, so I took aspirin, dialed 911 and came directly to AdventHealth Waterman,” Robinson stated.

As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Robinson knew that time is muscle when it comes to the heart and to not mess around. Upon arrival at AdventHealth Waterman, Robinson went into cardiac arrest.

The AdventHealth Waterman medical team acted quickly and soon Interventional Cardiologist Sule Salami began the catheterization process. “Dr. Salami cathed me in I believe it was 18 minutes, which is phenomenal. That's truly life-saving there,” stated Robinson.

Four days later after he was stabilized, AdventHealth Waterman Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Gary Allen, performed coronary artery bypass after finding four blockages.

Robinson was discharged 18 days after surgery.

Today, Robinson is back to work at Daytona International Speedway where he drives for the NASCAR Racing Experience. Robinson stated, “I am blessed beyond words!”

The one take away that Robinson would like the Lake County community to know, is to always call 911 if you or a loved one experiences heart attack symptoms.

“Ambulances aren't just transport to the hospital; you get treated,” said Robinson. “They're advanced life support. You get oxygen, you get medications that can help slow the progression of a heart attack or cardiac arrest. Driving yourself puts more stress on you, and I've had experience where I've picked up people on the side of the road who decided to drive themselves and didn't make it. So, please do not waste any time.”

Find out more about cardiac care near you.

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