Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
These commands might come to mind when you see Kaiser Permanente member Thomas Bailey (see photo). Yes, you’re seeing correctly: Bailey is Santa Claus, and he normally has a full work schedule on Christmas Eve.
Last year, on December 23, Bailey was headed to warm the spirits of pediatric patients and families at NIH and Children’s National Medical Center when he felt severe pain in his chest. Not wanting to risk the chance of fulfilling his Santa duties, Bailey knew the best option was to get care as soon as possible.
He went straight to the nearest hospital and was stabilized. He had a 90 percent blockage of his left main artery. Having had a prior bypass surgery and no ST elevations on his EKG, the situation was not immediately life threatening but was nonetheless critical.
Mr. Bailey was safely transferred to our premier hospital partner, Virginia Hospital Center, where he met one of Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group’s (MAPMG) interventional cardiologists, Dr. Ameya Kulkarni. Despite the late hour, Kulkarni decided to stay and take the case rather than having Mr. Bailey wait until morning. As Kulkarni told us in February, “Our members shouldn’t have to wait for their care ever.”
The team members at the catheterization lab not only confirmed the 90 percent blockage as they skillfully guided the catheter to Mr. Bailey’s heart, but they also found the blockage was in an area cardiologists call the “widow maker.” Thankfully, the delicate stenting procedure – and MAPMG’s advanced treatment and recovery protocols – cleared the blockage, saved Mr. Bailey’s life and – importantly – enabled him to go home and perform some important Santa duties the very next day.
Bailey recently got a checkup and met with Dr. Kulkarni at Tysons Medical Center, and NBC4 was there to capture it all.
Find out how Santa – we mean Mr. Bailey – is doing and if he’s ready for the 2016 Christmas season by watching the clip below.
Click the image below to watch the news clip on NBC4: