February 22, 2019

Life-saving cardiac care was ‘a gift’ for Barry Wagoner

“I didn’t realize how ‘awful’ I’d learned to feel was ‘okay’.”

Over Memorial Day weekend, Kaiser Permanente member Barry Wagoner had planned to do yardwork. Instead, he spent most of the weekend on the couch feeling lightheaded and exhausted.

Wagoner made a doctor’s appointment but thought about cancelling when his symptoms improved. Thankfully, he decided to follow through.

“They did an electrocardiogram, and 30 seconds later, a staff member told me, ‘We’re taking you to the emergency department,’” he said. There, Wagoner got some shocking news: He had experienced a heart attack and had 100 percent blockage of a major artery.

To open the blockage and reduce the risk of future heart attacks, interventional cardiologist Thomas Tsai, MD, placed a small mesh tube called a stent in the artery.

Wagoner felt dramatically better in the days that followed. “It was like night and day,” he said. “I didn’t realize how 'awful' I’d learned to feel was 'okay'.”

“The care I received from Kaiser Permanente was a gift. … It was exceptional,” he added. “I can never be thankful enough.”

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s pioneering cardiac care.