Ron Birtcher

Founder and President, Birtcher Family Foundation

In October I went to the Mayo Clinic for a mitral valve clip procedure because it’s renowned for this highly specialized technique. The procedure failed, so they scheduled me for open-heart surgery at a later date. But soon after I returned home, I became very ill. I met with my medical team – primary care physician Dr. John Dermody, cardiologist Dr. Sergio Manubens, nephrologist Dr. Nagarathna Manjappa, pulmonologist Dr. Francis Healy, and cardiac surgeon Dr. Robert Klingman – and they made it clear that I wouldn’t survive the ight back to Minnesota. I was admitted for immediate open-heart surgery at the Queen and spent almost three weeks there.

Even if we’d been able to do the surgery at the Mayo, my wife, Joanne, would have had to stay in a hotel for weeks. All follow-up appointments would have had to be done in Minnesota. It was crazy to think it would have worked. Instead, I received the same cutting-edge surgical capabilities, the same high caliber of medical expertise, and an amazing esprit de corps among the entire staff at the Queen. Our three children all came to visit each day and they were truly blown away at how loving and family-centric the whole staff was. From day one to discharge, it was a wonderful experience.

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