Fighting crime and heart disease

Calvin Robbins, cardiovascular patient, St. Mary's Medical Center

Calvin Robbins Heart StoryHis faith, family and a career with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office are the most important things in Calvin Robbins' life. Calvin has worked as a Deputy Sheriff for 27 years and has always led an active lifestyle with a love of sports and exercise. One day at work, however, he began feeling extremely tired with a complete lack of energy or stamina.

"I knew something was wrong because I was very tired all the time, no matter how much sleep I got the night before," Calvin remembers. "During the day, I had no extra energy to do anything."

Calvin scheduled a visit to see his primary care physician, who discovered he had an abnormal artery wrapped around his heart.

"My doctor said I was born with this condition and that with each passing day, the abnormal artery was gripping my heart tighter and tighter, restricting blood flow," Calvin says. "He told me there weren't many surgeons capable of fixing this issue, but I was lucky because there happened to be one right here in South Florida -- Dr. Michael Black."

After meeting with Dr. Black, cardiothoracic surgeon on the medical staff at St. Mary's Medical Center, Calvin was scheduled to have open heart surgery on Veteran's Day.

"Twenty of my family and friends came along with me for my consultation, each of whom had questions and concerns," he says. "Even though it was an overwhelming amount of information, all of us felt confident in Dr. Black's surgical capabilities."

Calvin's family was very supportive throughout the entire process, and he truly appreciated the way the nurses and staff at St. Mary's accommodated everyone and made them feel at home.

During the surgery, Dr. Black discovered dead tissue in Calvin's heart as a result of a "silent" heart attack he has suffered in the past. Naturally, Calvin was shocked to hear this news. He had no idea it was possible to have a heart attack without even knowing it!

The surgery was a success, and Calvin was able to return to work quicker than he ever thought possible. He has since enrolled in a cardiac rehab program, where he works out three days a week for one hour a day with a registered nurse and a trainer who monitors him while he exercises. Calvin looks forward to being able to play sports again sometime soon.