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Patient and Family Say Thanks with Gift of Gratitude

November 09, 2018
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Ludlow residents Mel and Linda Jo Gershowitz were high school sweethearts. They’ve been together for 61 years and married for 56. Proud parents of four and grandparents of eight, they’ve weathered all of life’s storms together – including two heart attacks Mel suffered many years ago, at 37 and 42 – as well as more recent challenges.

Gift of Gratitude

Last fall, Mel and Linda Jo visited Mel’s cardiologist for what they expected to be a routine screening before his scheduled surgery for a back complaint. Despite his history, Mel had been aware of no symptoms. But test results were sobering. Mel was referred to the Davis Family Heart & Vascular Center at Baystate Medical Center (BMC), where he underwent open heart surgery as well as placement of a stent in an artery in his left leg.

After Mel was discharged, Mel and Linda Jo surprised his care providers by making a Gift of Gratitude – a charitable contribution to Baystate Health Foundation in support of patient care – in their honor.

“It’s always humbling when someone recognizes what you’ve done, but no one in nursing or healthcare expects it,” says Noel Harrington, MSN, RN, CCRN. “Whenever we hear from a patient that we’ve made their experience better – in this case, through Mr. and Mrs. Gershowitz’s incredibly generous gesture of making a gift that will help other patients – it’s deeply appreciated.”

Recovering joy

Back home in Ludlow, Mel Gershowitz, now a proud graduate of the Baystate Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, is walking on his treadmill and around the backyard every day – a routine that’s eased by improved circulation in his leg – and he and his family are enjoying life together.

“We thank everyone at Baystate from the bottom of our hearts,” says Linda Jo. “From the parking valets to Mel’s care team members, people were out of this world. We thank you all for bringing our joyous Melvin Gershowitz back to us.”

To learn more about how you can say “thanks” to a care provider through the Baystate Health Foundation, contact Director of Annual Giving & Events Kathy Tobin at 413-794-5996 or kathy.tobin@baystatehealth.org.