Stories of the Heart: Ken Gray

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By News Team on February 7, 2019

One evening Ken Gray was having chest pains. According to his wife, Connie, he did not tell her, but calmly called 911 and let her know that an ambulance was on its way.

He was transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and immediately went into surgery.

Despite the surgery, Connie was told that she had a very sick husband, and Ken was initially given three or four days to live.

A massive heart attack had put a hole in the bottom of his heart.

However, Joseph W. Baker, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon and chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Carilion, stepped up and told Connie that he would do his best to repair the hole.

Ken underwent a second surgery, but unfortunately the repair did not work.  

But the heart care team at Carilion did not stop.

Jason R. Foerst, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Carilion’s Structural Heart and Valve Center, researched and contacted colleagues from all over the world and was able to find a special device to repair Ken’s heart.  

It worked.

Today, Ken has been through three cardiac rehabs and passed with flying colors.

“Everyone was super,” said Ken. “I don’t know what I would have done without Carilion. I have a second chance at life.”