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MADISON (WMSN) Singer/songwriter Robert J grew up traveling across North America. But it was a trip to the hospital in 2007 that changed his life.



He was out raking leaves, and knew something was wrong.



"Just felt awful, really fatigued. I felt a burning in my chest, pain in the left arm, broke out in a sweat," he said.



ER doctors at St. Mary's Hospital confirmed what he feared: Robert J was having a heart attack.



"Within 18 minutes, they were in my heart, putting stints in my right coronary artery."



Robert J's symptoms aren't the only one's to watch for.



"Sometimes it's an inability to catch a breath, horrible upset stomach, heart burn, a bad pain in the shoulder," said cardiologist Jane Pearson, M.D.



Pearson says speed is critical. Heart attack victims can die quickly if they don't get help fast.



"For every minute that goes by during a heart attack, more heart muscle cells are liable to die," Dr. Pearson said. "It isn't safe for people to drive themselves to the hospital. You shouldn't wait for a relative to come give you a ride."



More than two years after his heart attack, Robert J is back performing. He's lost 24 pounds and written just as many newly-inspired songs.



Robert J is teeming up with Dean and St. Mary's for "Heart Fair Off The Square."



It takes place Thursday, February 11th, at St. Mary's Hospital from 5pm to 8pm.



You can get free screenings and learn about heart health. Robert J will be performing.American Heart Month

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