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Nageak medevaced from Capitol for heart procedure

March 29th, 2013 | Hannah Heimbuch Print this article   Email this article  

Barrow's Ben Nageak was recovering with family in Anchorage early this week after being medevaced from the Capitol on Friday. Rep. Nageak, D-Barrow, was suffering from symptoms of heart trouble when doctors in Juneau advised him to seek immediate treatment.

"I have a newfound respect for the medevac and flight nurse crews in Alaska," Nageak, D-Barrow, said. "I am blessed to be alive today and for that I thank my family and my staff, who pestered me all week long despite my initial protests. Life is precious. Take your health seriously, folks. Even little things can be signs of something more serious. I'm up and about and can't wait to get back down to Juneau to finish our work this session. I am booked to return to Juneau (Tuesday) and boy am I happy."

Nageak, 63, was taken to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, where a test revealed that there were blockages in his heart. Doctors successfully placed two stents.

"We are so thankful that Benny is better," said Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski. "Tanna and I, and all of us here in the House kept him in our thoughts and prayers over the weekend. We look forward to his safe return to the Capitol and the wisdom and grace he injects into our discussions."

As of press time on Tuesday, Nageak's office staff was looking forward to his return to Juneau on Tuesday evening, and return to work Wednesday morning.

Tuesday was also the representative's birthday.

Nageak is new to the Alaska Legislature, where he now holds the seat formerly occupied by Reggie Joule of Kotzebue.

Hannah Heimbuch can be reached at


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