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Nine years ago, my wife Karen and I were travelling on a rickety train through northern Russia, trying to safely shepherd our new son, Tristan, from an orphanage to our home in Parkton, Maryland. The journey was harrowing and traumatic for a multitude of reasons but our beautiful son has been a gift to us that is beyond measure. I share this story with you to let you know that I believe that I have been blessed with a beautiful family and have so much to live for, including a job I love, working with the best people in the world. And yet, I came close to losing it all.

In July of 2016, I suffered a heart attack and had the great fortune to be taken to St. Joe’s where a stent implantation, later followed by quadruple bypass open heart surgery, saved my life. The clinical care was superb but it was the entire team’s total commitment to me that was so extraordinary, from the hospitalist who personally lined up specialists for me, the surgeon who visited me many more times than I ever expected, and the cardiac rehab nurses who measured my every exercise in the hospital’s Fitness Center. In all honesty, I had neglected my healthcare, an irony given all the blessings I had in my life.

I experienced care that everyone deserves and I can assure you that it is your support that makes it possible. Through the kindness of so many friends, St. Joe’s has been able to invest in extremely advanced technology, while staying mindful that their mission is always to return their patients to lives that are suffused with light and love. I am asking you to consider a gift that allows this phenomenal hospital to continue to give our community that most precious gift of good health.

The extraordinary team at St. Joe’s not only saved my life but they permanently changed it. Everyone with whom I came in contact thoroughly educated me about what I needed to do to become truly healthy for the long-term. Before my heart attack, Tristan and I had planned a fly fishing trip to Montana that had to be canceled when I spent our much anticipated vacation at St. Joe’s. The team not only promised me that I would take my son fishing but that I would cry at his college graduation, dance with Karen at his wedding and spoil my future grandchildren. UM St. Joseph Medical Center gave my life back to me, a gift for which I am enormously grateful.

I am delighted to share my experience and I know that you most likely have your own unique St. Joe’s story. I thank you for considering a gift so that all of our beautiful stories will continue to be told.