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Albany Med Today

Retired NYC Firefighter Right to be Alarmed


Robert Walsh has no regrets about going to the hospital that night during a Fourth of July weekend. And the Ulster County man is certainly grateful he ended up at Albany Medical Center.

“I felt like I was a special person, the respect and the care I received,” he said.
When Walsh, a retired New York City firefighter who now lives in the heart of the Catskills, felt chest pains that holiday weekend in 2012, he knew something wasn’t right.

“I’ve normally been on the other side of the coin and have been stubborn,” the now-74-year-old said. “But the feeling in my chest felt different. For the one time in my life I gave in.”

After going to a local hospital, Walsh was airlifted to Albany Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with pericarditis, a swelling of the sac that surrounds the heart. While at Albany Med he suffered from an arrhythmia that was treated with a pacemaker implanted by Henry Tan, MD.

“In a situation like that many patients try to ignore or downplay their symptoms—and that’s a mistake,” Dr. Tan said. “Thankfully for Mr. Walsh, he did listen to his body. Had he delayed coming to the hospital, who knows what would have been.”

More than a year later, Walsh is again puttering around his property in Oliverea. He still raves about Albany Med, from the comfort of having the Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center across the street for his wife, Phyllis, to the attentiveness of the hospital staff.

“The quality of the medical care I got was superb,” Walsh said. “I have nothing but good things to say about my stay.”