Robert Dill, Pine Bluff native and retired Executive President of Simmons First National Bank in Pine Bluff, was having bypass surgery on his leg when he had a massive heart attack on the operating table that rocked him from life to death multiple times.
“I died four times and the JRMC team brought me back four times,” Robert said. “The amazing thing was that three times is all they normally do it. So I don’t know if it was God or what that made them do it the fourth time, but I’m glad they did.”
Despite a long and difficult recuperation process and more than six weeks in the hospital, Robert didn’t lose his optimism and wit. “The doctors told my family that I probably wasn’t going to make it, and if I did I’d be brain dead. I can say I’m not any more brain dead now than I was before, so I’m okay!”
Robert now trusts his heart to JRMC Cardiologist, Ayman A. Alshami, M.D. of JRMC Cardiology Associates of South Arkansas. “He and his staff both are, I think, outstanding,” Robert said. “He’s a very knowledgeable man and he knows what he’s doing—there’s no doubt about that whatsoever.”
In addition to skill, Robert said Dr. Alshami offers personalized care. “I can’t imagine having another cardiologist,” he said. “I’ve got so much faith in him. He cares about you personally and he cares about your health. He wants to be sure he’s giving you the best he’s got, and you can’t ask for more than that from anybody. ”
Robert said it was comforting to be cared for by people from his own community during his stay in the hospital. “I knew a lot of people that worked with JRMC and I knew their personality, their attitudes, their character, and so I didn’t think I would get better care anywhere else, and I didn’t,” he said.
Many JRMC staff members were part of the life-saving care Robert received the day of his heart attack. “I’ve had people come up and say ‘I was there that day. I did this. I did that,’” Robert said. “To stop and think how fortunate you are to have that many people to be there for you when something like this happens. They’re quality people.”
Robert has recovered and is enjoying retirement, family time and a new perspective. “I’m here,” he said. “I could not be here. So let’s make the most of it.”