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Robert's Story

  • Author: Robert Castellano
  • Date Submitted: Oct 15, 2020
  • Category: Cardiology

“ I really can’t convey the appreciation I have for Dr. Said, Dr. Araim, and the hospital’s medical staff. It wasn’t just a hospital experience. It was a people experience. They revive and restore lives, and I’m one of them. Those are the people who bring you back to life.”

The Beat Goes On 

When your heart is on the line, our cardiac team doesn’t skip a beat 

Robert knows a thing or two about a good beat. A lifelong drummer, he understands that any good song needs a steady beat, and the same can be said for a healthy heart. Fifteen years ago, Robert’s demanding career took its toll on his health when he suffered a mild heart attack. After the heart scare, Robert knew he needed to make major changes to save his life. Less than three months later, he retired from his stressful job and moved north from the chaotic streets of Los Angeles to the peaceful orchards of Tulare. 

Last fall, 14 years after moving to Tulare, Robert’s elevated blood pressure was making him worry so he made an appointment with Dr. Sarmad Said, a cardiologist with Visalia Medical Clinic, who is also affiliated with Kaweah Delta. Robert passed the heart test after the test but his blood pressure remained elevated. Thankfully, he was in the expert hands of Dr. Said. “Dr. Said didn’t turn away from me. He took the time to listen and scheduled me for an angiogram to take a closer look.” Just as Dr. Said began the procedure, Robert’s blood pressure dropped dangerously, revealing to Dr. Said that an artery blockage was likely and heart surgery would be necessary. In the end, Robert’s heart required quadruple bypass heart surgery performed by Kaweah Delta-affiliated Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Leheb Araim.   

Now, Robert’s on his comeback tour and believes he was meant to move to Tulare County to be treated by the compassionate team at Kaweah Delta. “I really can’t convey the appreciation I have for Dr. Said, Dr. Araim, and the hospital’s medical staff. It wasn’t just a hospital experience. It was a people experience. They revive and restore lives, and I’m one of them. Those are the people who bring you back to life.”