For Arnold Gerber and his wife Debby, Arnold's heart attack was a life changing experience. Throughout their 46-year happy marriage Arnold always knew his wife, Debby, was made of strong stuff. But when he experienced a myocardial infarction, more commonly called "heart attack," in their home in December, 2013, Arnold saw just how calm, focused and resilient she could be. "God was watching over both of us, as Debby gave me aspirin tablet to chew, quickly called 911 and laid me on the bed and waited for the EMTs to arrive," says Arnold. Debby's lifelong interest in medicine ensured she did all the right things to save him.
Their fears were alleviated by the excellent care that Arnold received from the EMTs who transported him, the Emergency Department who initially treated him and later care he received in the Heart Institute and ICU. "Arnold went into cardiac arrest right after he arrived in the ER. Even then, everyone calmly and methodically did their jobs."
The Gerbers credit the EMTs who were first on the scene and Dr. Khosrow Tabassi in the Emergency Department and Dr. Henry Sun in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab for saving his life. Later, Dr. Jason Marx in the Intensive Care Unit carefully watched over his recovery. "These physicians are perfect examples of excellence in medical care and are surrounded by amazing and compassionate support staff," say both Arnold and Debby.
They found the same experience with the medical center's cardiovascular fitness team. Arnold worked with the dedicated staff to come up with a safe and effective lifestyle plan that included diet and exercise. After graduating from the medical center's cardiac rehabilitation program, Arnold immediately transitioned to Towson University's "Wellness" program that operates in conjunction with UM St. Joseph Medical Center. He works out three times a week under the guidance of exercise physiologists.
Arnold and Debby Gerber wanted to thank the medical center that not only saved Arnold's life but awakened them to the importance of making a concerted effort to care for the mind, body and spirit. In 2013 and 2014 the Gerbers made extremely generous gifts in support of the medical center. "I worked for 35 years in Human Resources," adds Arnold. "What I saw in the staff at St. Joseph's, makes the term 'human resources' a metaphor for the 'best of the best.' Debby and I feel very blessed."