On the evening of Saint Patrick’s Day 2017, Westfield resident Chuck Margarites, Sr. and his wife Jean were driving home after dinner out when Chuck began to experience chest pain. He thought it might have been something he ate but the pain got progressively worse.
Minutes away from Baystate Noble Hospital, the couple arrived at the hospital’s Emergency Department a little after 9 p.m. Dr. Murdoc Khaleghi, the attending ED physician, and a team of Emergency Department nurses immediately began his care and quickly determined that Chuck was experiencing a STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction), a serious heart attack in which a coronary artery is completely blocked and a large part of the heart muscle is unable to receive blood.
A code STEMI was called setting off a carefully practiced series of events at Baystate Noble and Baystate Medical Center. A call was placed to the on-call interventional cardiologist at Baystate Medical Center, a transfer put in motion, and all would be ready when Chuck arrived at Baystate Medical Center.
By 10:20 p.m. the interventional cardiologist and catheterization laboratory team at Baystate Medical Center had placed a life-saving stent in Chuck’s artery – just 49 minutes from the time Chuck left Baystate Noble. There was no discernable damage to his heart. Chuck remembered the crushing pain being completely gone once the stent was placed. He was discharged from Baystate Medical Center three days after his procedure.
Update: After his discharge from the hospital two years ago, Chuck’s follow-up care included going to Cardiac Rehabilitation at Baystate Noble. He credits caregivers there with inspiring him. “It was hard at first because I had not been exercising at all. But I did what they told me to do and soon I could see a difference and it became routine,” Chuck shared.
Two years later, 77-year-old Chuck has changed his life for the better. Thirty pounds lighter, he follows a healthy diet, and walks two and a half miles on a treadmill three days a week at a local gym. He has inspired his wife Jean to go to the gym. Chuck enjoys camping, working part-time at a golf course, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. “I feel like a new person,” said Chuck. “I can do anything I want. Nothing is stopping me.”