Health Check: Implanted cardiac defibrillator

Eric Robinson and Kate Menard met at church. They started dating after Robinson became a widower, and now they're engaged to be married.

"We got together and just that one time we got together we realized that there was something that sparked. It was like coming back to life," Robinson said.

Coming back to life is what happened to him in March. Robinson and Menard were at a bar in Foster where Robinson's son's band was playing.

"Eric played in the band. He sat in for a song," Menard said.

But after that song, Menard said something wasn't right.

"He sat down and his arms were making motions that didn't look normal. His eyes were closed and he was not responsive," Menard said.

Robinson was having a heart attack. It's how his first wife died. But in his case, CPR performed on him at the club and a portable defibrillator kept him alive.

Now Robinson has an implanted cardiac defibrillator that helps monitor the heart's rhythm. His is new and state of the art.

"It was actually approved, literally, a few days before our center implanted it by the FDA," said Dr. Anthony Chu.

Robinson was Rhode Island Hospital's third patient to receive the new single-lead implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, in early March.

Chu said it's a first of its kind.

"The big sort of revolution about this type of device is it's now able to get a much more complete picture of what's happening with the heart with one wire" instead of two, Chu said.

And while office visits are important, wherever there's Wi-Fi, Robinson's ICD can be monitored by a special device from anywhere in the world to make sure it's operating properly.

"I'm really thankful, although my hope is that it never has to go off and it's never needed," Robinson said.

Rhode Island Hospital has implanted six of the single-lead implantable cardiac defibrillators.