Wright Mayor’s symptoms were uncomfortable, but not especially painful
Wright Mayor Ralph Kingan first noticed pressure in his chest when going up and down stairs while vacationing in Salt Lake City over Thanksgiving.
He saw Wright Clinic family physician Dr. Laine Russell, who suggested he have a cardiac calcium scoring screening, a quick and painless outpatient test that assesses a person’s risk for heart disease.
The test showed that Ralph had heart disease, and suggested a trip to Campbell County Medical Group Cardiology, and an appointment with Cardiologist Dr. Nick Stamato.
Dr. Stamato ordered a cardiac stress test, and Ralph felt the chest discomfort again while on the treadmill, which was performed by nurse practitioner Whitney Fevold. Ralph said that everyone was very calm but insistent, and he was scheduled for the Cardiac Cath lab that afternoon.
Ralph’s wife Jean takes over the story from there, because Ralph doesn’t remember much about his Cath Lab procedure, or his subsequent quadruple bypass heart surgery at the Billings Clinic on Jan. 9.
Dr. Stamato told Jean that Ralph’s catheterization showed extensive blockages in his coronary arteries and bypass surgery was his best option. Jean knew that Ralph’s chest discomfort had been going on for a while, and he had complained about being tired since the beginning of November. What really alarmed her was when Ralph said he didn’t feel like going to work, which she never remembers him every saying before.
Jean praises everyone involved in Ralph’s care at Campbell County Health (CCH), from the registration clerks to the nurses in the clinic and staff in the Cath Lab, and of course, Whitney Fevold, and Dr. Stamato.
She explained they haven’t always had good experiences at CCH in the past, and she is eager to tell others about Ralph’s exceptional treatment in Gillette and Billings. Jean said the doctors in Billings told her that Ralph didn’t have any lasting heart damage and they were both waiting for him to be released to go back to his job at the Wright Water and Sewer District, where he’s been the Superintendent since 1982.
“Mr. Kingan’s story is one that we hope for in medicine,” said Dr. Stamato. “He was on the verge of a very large, potentially fatal heart attack and through modern technology and healthcare he now can look forward to a long and healthy life.”
Ralph’s advice to others he meets is: “…don’t think you are Superman—don’t wait if you have symptoms, and take care of your health.”
Cardiologists in Gillette, Wyoming
Our highly skilled, board certified cardiologists at the Campbell County Medical Group Cardiology clinic are here at all times to care for patients and our cardiac cath lab allows us to provide care quickly during an emergency. And, we can help get you back to your daily routine after a heart incident with our Cardiac Rehabilitation program.
Our board-certified cardiologists use these and other tools to diagnose and treat heart problems as the first cardiologists living and working in Gillette.
For more information, call (307) 688-3700 or visit www.cchwyo.org/heart.
At the first signs of heart attack, call 911.
Do not lie down to see if the symptoms pass or drive yourself (or ask a friend to drive you) to Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Call 911.