A local patient's heart story
Quad Cities Hospital

Having great medical care nearby saved his life

Donors like you made all the difference

Kindhearted Quad-Citians Like You Helped Save RI Man's Life

The summer of 2005 was hot and muggy. Everyone seemed to be sagging by August. Even Gary Rowe – a normally energetic 58-year-old who began every day with a brisk walk through his hilly Rock Island neighborhood – was tired.

 He chalked it up to the weather and his busy job at Bethany Children and Family Services.

 So when he was too tired to complete his usual morning walk, Gary paid no attention. When he had to stop and lean against a street sign to catch his breath, he ignored that, too. He also dismissed the terrible heartburn he suffered after pie and coffee one night.

 "The heartburn was so bad that I got out of bed and walked around," he says. "When I felt better, I went back to bed. I felt fine the next morning."

 Lucky for Gary, Trinity Hospital's emergency staff had the sophisticated equipment, monitors and technology they needed to save his life. Donors like you made all the difference.

 The next day began well. After coffee, breakfast and the newspaper, Gary started to clean up. He suddenly felt awful.

 "I felt like a little man was inside my chest, pushing against my ribs," Gary says. "I finally thought, I'm having a heart attack. I handed the car keys to my wife and said, I need you to drive me to the hospital."

 Privately, Gary wondered if he would live.

 "Eventually, something like this will happen to you, too. Having a great medical center nearby is your only insurance that you'll be taken care of."

 "I wondered if I would get to see my grandson grow up," Gary remembers. "I wondered if I did live, what my quality of life would be."


 He didn't have long to dwell on the questions. Within minutes, Gary and his wife arrived at Trinity, where the staff quickly diagnosed his heart attack and stabilized him. The next day, Gary had balloon angioplasty to open a 90 percent-blocked artery to his heart.

 Weeks of intensive cardiac rehab followed, gradually returning Gary both to health and his former energy.

 "I can't say enough about the quality of my care, during my heart attack and throughout rehab," he says. "It was terrific. Thanks to Trinity – and the donors who have made sure it has what it needs – I'm alive."

 "I'm fortunate. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, a first class facility was there for me. I am living proof of the need. Will you join me in helping ensure Trinity remains first class for everyone?"

 Gary's heart attack was 11 years ago. Now 69 and retired, he still exercises and watches what he eats.

 "Trinity's whole program – from the Emergency Department to cardiology to rehab – is highly professional," Gary says.

 "Thanks to the great care I received, I've been able to do the things I always wanted to do in retirement. We're going back to Europe this fall. We have season tickets to Illinois football. And I'm here for my grandson."

 As Gary points out, serious health crises are part of life. We – or our loved ones – will all be in an accident or have a stroke or fall off a ladder at some point.

 For yourself, your loved ones, your neighbors and friends. Because although you never know when you'll need expert medical care, you will need it somedayPlease join Gary and the many kindhearted donors who have banded together to keep Trinity first class.