With 40 years of fire department and EMT experience, Darwin Trombley wasn't accustomed to being a patient. Always on the go, he's constantly busy with unexpected fires, teaching EMS classes and helping others in his community. Then one morning, it happened-a heart attack.
"I felt tingling in my left arm, uncontrollable sweating and a general uneasiness," said Darwin. "I knew right away it was a heart attack and what to do. I took some aspirin and told my wife to take me to Alice Hyde Medical Center."
As a first responder, Darwin had worked with the staff at Alice Hyde and knew he would receive excellent care there. When he arrived, the team of caregivers at Alice Hyde drew blood, did a cardio enzyme work-up and stabilized Darwin.
“When I walked into the emergency room, the first nurse I saw was someone I had taught years before. I knew I was in good hands because I've known most of the staff forever.”
Thanks to Alice Hyde's connections as part of the University of Vermont Health Network, they seamlessly put him in touch with cardiology specialists at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital who inserted a stent. Darwin spent two days in recovery before being transferred back to Alice Hyde for 12 weeks of cardiac rehabilitation. His rehab program included a regular stretching routine plus weightlifting and time spent on the rowing machines and stationary bike while hooked up to a monitor.
"Rehab changed my life. I went early in the morning before work at 7am and it was a great experience. I lost weight, felt better, and was sad to finish the program," said Darwin.
He still goes in to see the Ellen and Jenna at the rehabilitation facility whenever he has a check up. They made sure he had the right encouragement and pushed him to follow through.
"I kept up the exercising at home. My wife and I go walking the dog 3 times a week in the evenings. Overall, I have lost about 20 pounds and I'm tickled pink about keeping it off," said Darwin.
Darwin goes on to say the care he received at Alice Hyde was exceptional. "I know that because I've worked with these people at the emergency room. I know what kind of care they give and it is top notch. There's nothing I would change from the nurses to the physicians. The experience was excellent," he said.
Now Darwin is back fighting fires, running an EMS squad, and walking his three dogs with his wife because of the care he received at Alice Hyde Medical Center and the UVM Health Network.