Kemp Wayne Lamunyon Sr.’s heart attack didn’t start with the obvious symptoms. But caregivers at Providence St. Mary in Walla Walla, WA knew what was happening and sprang into action.

Know the signs of a heart attack and save your life

Kemp Wayne Lamunyon Sr.’s heart attack in June didn’t start with the obvious chest pains or shortness of breath. But he was in the right place when he needed emergency care.

Kemp, 60, was reading a book in a waiting room at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., while his wife was in physical therapy.

“I just kind of felt uncomfortable,” says the retired mechanic and salesman. “Then I started getting clammy and warm and anxious. I adjusted myself in my chair a couple of times, but I just didn’t feel right.

“Then that’s all there was. When I woke up, I had a breathing mask on.’’

The symptoms might not have been recognizable to Kemp, but Greg Blanc knew what was happening. The Providence St. Mary respiratory therapist sprang into action after Kemp fell out of his chair and stopped breathing.

Greg helped resuscitate Kemp, who was then taken to the St. Mary Heart and Vascular Center’s catheterization lab. There, Lisa Abrahams, MD, an interventional cardiologist, performed balloon angioplasty to open an artery that was almost entirely blocked, and inserted a stent.

“The doctors at Providence St. Mary are really awesome,” says Kemp. “Those people rock.”

His wife, Myra, agrees. “I thought, ‘I’m going to lose my husband today.’ But then I had faith in St. Mary. They were working so feverishly and they brought him back.’’

Is there a lesson in all of this? Kemp says there is: “There are many different symptoms for a heart attack, so it’s good to know what they are. And then hope you are treated at Providence St. Mary.”

Minutes matter to the recovery of your heart after an attack.  Providence St. Mary Heart and Vascular Center is the only Level 1 Cardiac Center in Walla Walla, with interventional cardiologists ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to rapidly diagnose and treat cardiac emergencies.  

Learn more about how St. Mary’s cardiology team can help you or a loved one.