Rob Bazant photographed with his wife Lisa and smiling at the camera

VIDEO: Football fan survives heart attack far from Montana home

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Montana native Rob Bazant was 1,300 miles away from his home on the range when he had a heart attack — but just three blocks away from Methodist Southlake Medical Center.

“I’m very thankful that I was lucky enough to be in that area,” Rob says. “It was an experience second to none.”

The retired wrestling coach, educator, and school administrator was visiting Dallas-Fort Worth to watch his beloved University of Montana Grizzlies compete for a football championship on Jan. 7 in Frisco. After the game, Rob started to feel ill but shrugged his pain off as indigestion.

The next morning he drove his brother to the airport for his flight home to Los Angeles and then drove around biding his time until his own flight home.

“I’m certainly glad I didn’t get on that plane,” Rob says, “because I think it might have ended differently.”

Rob Bazant (left) and his brother Rick at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco

Rob (left) and his brother Rick visited Toyota Stadium in Frisco for a football game.


Rather than go to the airport, Rob ended up in the parking lot at Methodist Southlake wondering whether he really needed to see a doctor so far from home.

“I sat for a few minutes, and it felt a little better,” he says. “And then I felt it coming on again. And I thought yeah, I need to go in.”

Moments later, Rob was admitted to the emergency department and hooked up to an EKG machine, with a worried nurse and doctor looking at the readout.

“Am I having a heart attack?” Rob remembers asking. “And the doctor said, ‘Yes, you are. And we’re going to take care of you.’”

Back in Billings, Montana, Rob’s wife was struggling to find a way to cover the more than 1,000 miles between her and her husband as quickly as possible, all while trying to learn the latest news.

“I am so grateful that he was able to recognize the symptoms in time,” she says. “And by the grace of God was able to find Methodist Southlake.”

Rob Bazant photographed with his wife Lisa and smiling at the camera

Lisa Bazant was by her husband Rob’s side as quickly as she could be.


Rob had multiple blockages in the arteries supplying his heart, and two of them were almost completely clogged, says Anas Alomar, MD, medical director of cardiology on the medical staff at Methodist Southlake.

“He had a 99% blockage in the middle of the vessel,” Dr. Alomar says. “That’s the blockage that caused the heart attack. But he also had another 99% blockage, as well as a 90% and 80% blockage.”

Rob was quickly wheeled into the cardiac catheterization lab at Methodist Southlake, where he was told to expect a flurry of activity.

“The doctor said, ‘It’s going to be like a NASCAR pit crew,” Rob says. “And it was, they were going to town. They hit the ground running.”

A stock photo of medical professional carting a gurney through a hallway with a blur effect on the photo

In less than 50 minutes, Rob’s arteries were reopened with four stents. 


In Rob’s case, general anesthesia was not necessary for the minimally invasive procedure, a coronary angiogram, or heart cath.

“I was actually awake during the surgery,” Rob says. “Dr. Alomar told me what was going on and kept me informed about what they were doing every step of the way. That was all so comforting.”

Rob would need four stents to open his blockages, all of them placed with a tiny catheter that also opens the vein with a balloon, what’s known as balloon angioplasty.

“In this hospital, we do it with the most advanced techniques,” Dr. Alomar says. “So we actually go in through the wrist instead of the groin.”

Once the blockages were clear, all within 50 minutes of Rob walking into the hospital, the relief was instantaneous.

“The pain went away immediately,” he says. “I felt good.”

Rob and Lisa photographed on the left with champagne flutes and smiling, and on the right, a photo of their riverside cabin in Montana.

Rob and Lisa are looking forward to getting away to their riverside cabin in Montana.


The heart attack caused little damage to Rob’s heart because he sought help so quickly — and because the cath lab was nearby and its staff was prepared and well-equipped.

“We were able to fix all the blockages in one setting,” Dr. Alomar says. “Seeing the 180-degree difference in a patient before the procedure and afterward … it’s an amazing feeling. He’s going to have a normal heart function and a normal life expectancy.”

That’s great news to Rob and Lisa, who believed that her active husband was in perfect health.

From prevention to advanced procedures, trust your heart to the innovative, personalized care that Methodist provides.


“Rob has always been very, very healthy in the sense that he works out regularly,” Lisa says. “And so I thought exercise would be enough. Clearly, there’s more to it.”

Rob now has an active retirement to look forward to, living in the cabin he’s building on three acres beside a picturesque river in Montana. It’s a dream he and Lisa won’t ever take for granted.

“We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at Methodist,” Lisa says. “I mean without this care … well, I don’t even want to think about what could have happened.”