Patient Gift of $1M Supports New Heart Catheterization Lab at Ascension St. John Hospital

Ascension St. John Hospital on the east side of Detroit is getting a new hybrid cardiac catheterization laboratory to enhance services for heart patients thanks to a $1 million gift by a grateful patient.
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Thanks to a $1 million gift from Thomas Mackey of Grosse Pointe Farms, Ascension St. John Hospital is getting a new hybrid cardiac catheterization laboratory to enhance services for heart patients. // Photo courtesy of Ascension St. John Hospital

Ascension St. John Hospital on the east side of Detroit is getting a new hybrid cardiac catheterization laboratory to enhance services for heart patients thanks to a $1 million gift by a grateful patient.

Thomas Mackey, 84, of Grosse Pointe Farms, made the donation to the hospital where he has received his healthcare for years, including hip replacements, knee surgery, and heart care. His choice for a catheterization lab, was made because he said cardiologist Dr. Marc Gosselin saved his life when he had a heart attack.

“I’m still here because of Dr. Gosselin’s expert care,” says Mackey. “I can’t say enough good things about him and the hospital.”

Since Mackey had catheterization procedures himself, he knows the importance of a cath lab and wants to help others who need this type of specialized care.

A hybrid catheterization lab combines the traditional diagnostic functions of a cath lab with the surgical functions of an operating room. The new cath lab will enhance the services offered by the Gretchen C. Valade Cardiovascular Hybrid Operating Room and Minimally Invasive Structural Heart Program.

“We have always prided ourselves on delivering state-of-the-art cardiovascular care to our patients,” says Dr. Thomas LaLonde, chief of cardiology and cardiovascular services at Ascension St. John. “Mr. Mackey’s generous donation will provide additional access to advanced technology and allow our expert cardiology team to deliver the best possible percutaneous cardiovascular intervention.”

While the new catheterization lab will be named for Mackey, he doesn’t donate for recognition.

“I give because I want to help while I’m still around to see the benefit,” he says.

Besides the cath lab, Mackey has supported the Skills Simulation and Education Center at Ascension St. John Hospital, and The Holley Institute.

Mackey worked as an investment banker for 52 years and does not have a wife or children to inherit his estate.

“I’d rather give my money where it can help than spend it on myself,” Mackey says. “I’d like to think I’ve made a little bit of difference in this world.”

Other organizations that can attest to the fact that he makes a difference include the Michigan Humane Society, which has a state-of-the-art facility in Detroit named for him. His gifts also helped create the Thomas A. Mackey Animal Adoption Center at the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society in Harper Woods.

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