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Rapid Response Saves Local Man In Cardiac Distress

PatientRobakJim "JR" Robak was having a rough week last summer, already battling a persistent stomach virus. Yet, a nagging virus would soon become the least of his worries. Around 2:30 a.m. early one morning, he began feeling like he was having a heart attack.

“After that I felt very faint,” he said. “My chest seemed like it was painful and my arm was very numb and I started to sweat and perspire.”

His wife immediately called 911. JR was overwhelmed, and nervous, as he was escorted into an awaiting ambulance.

“The medical people, the EMTs, recommended Baystate Medical and I didn’t quite understand why but they said for a heart condition that was best,” JR said. 

The Baystate Heart & Vascular Program is among the best in the nation, along with the experience and expertise to accurately diagnose and treat your condition. We deliver unsurpassed heart and vascular care in western Massachusetts.


JR was rapidly wheeled into a private room in the emergency department.

“Shortly thereafter the nurse was there and provided an IV. She made me feel very comfortable,” she said.

Doctors told JR that is appeared he had suffered a heart attack.

“The first test showed that the heart was beating less than 50% that it should have,” JR said. “Pretty scary, but he calmed me down.“


JR was admitted to the MasMutual Wing at Baystate, where doctors did several rounds of tests and determined that while his heart was enlarged, there was no damage to it.

“It was very comfortable,” JR said. “The bedside manner of all the doctors I found was extremely nice. I would recommend that place for anyone in the area.”

JR was particularly impressed that on his floor, MassMutual 5, patients have the option to call the nurse and speak to her or him over the phone, rather than pressing an alert button.

“To me that was a real step in very good quality and customer service,” he said. “I met with the manager of nurses. She came in to see how things were going-I was impressed by that. In the time of despair, Baystate Medical is there. “