GIFT LEVELS
$20 Individual Light
$100 Starlight
$250 Candlelight
$500 Shooting Star
$1000 Circle of Love

GIFT LEVELS
$20 Individual Light
$100 Starlight
$250 Candlelight
$500 Shooting Star
$1000 Circle of Love

It might have been one of the coldest nights of the year but our 2nd Annual Lights of Love Tree Lighting Ceremony warmed the hearts of all who attended. The Lights of Love program, presented by Wilkinson Funeral Home, allowed our donors to honor or memorialize someone who has impacted their life. The ceremony, held on November 29th at the Margie Campbell Healing Garden, was well attended with over 150 guests who joined together to remember those they recognized through the Lights of Love program.

During the evening, Mayor Bill Dusch, Cabarrus Healthcare Foundation Board Member and co-chair of the program, shared a special story of a grateful patient whose life had been touched by many of our medical teams at Atrium Health Cabarrus. Tom’s story begins when he arrives at Cabarrus Emergency Department by EMS.

An 82-year-old native of Concord, Tom was born on August 13, 1941, at our very own Atrium Health Cabarrus, then known as Cabarrus Memorial Hospital. Last year, a lot of things changed for Tom; on Sunday, September 24, Tom ran his usual 20 miles as he was preparing once again to run the Boston Marathon. Tom ran the Boston Marathon in 1983 and again in 2016. He was entered in the race for 2022; however, due to a leg injury he was unable to attend the race that year. His goal is to run it for a 3rd time after turning 80. On Monday, following Sunday’s long run, Tom hit the pavement for a 5-mile recovery run. Once he was finished, he came home and sat down with his iPad to email his sister a birthday card. Tom’s wife, Joyce, turned the corner into the living room and saw Tom shaking in the chair with his arms up near his chest. He appeared to be having a stroke or a seizure. Joyce immediately called 911. The Cabarrus EMS team arrived within minutes, intubated Tom, and rushed him to the Emergency Department at Atrium Health Cabarrus. After multiple tests, a stroke and seizure were ruled out. Doctors said that Tom’s blood pressure was extremely low. Tom was sent to the ICU on Tuesday. Tom’s family was not sure if he was going to make it and began to call their family to come to the hospital and see him. Tom’s sister came in from out of town to visit on Tuesday and came straight to the ICU. After staying a while and visiting with family, his sister left. As she was walking out of the hospital, over the intercom she heard, “Code Blue Room 2309.” Tom’s sister recognized that room number and immediately went back to the ICU. Tom was the patient having cardiac arrest! Fortunately, Tom was revived and stayed in the ICU for 3 more days. Following ICU, Tom was sent to Cardiac Care for a week and a half where he underwent surgery for placement of a pacemaker and a defibrillator. Tom is grateful to Dr. Christopher, Dr. Campbell, and all the hospital staff for the amazing care he received over the last year. After receiving the pacemaker and recovering from surgery, Tom was finally able to go home. Tom slowly started running again but with his doctor’s permission first. That wasn’t the last experience for Tom had in the Emergency Department. A week after Christmas, Tom told Joyce he was going to drive himself to the Emergency Department because something just was not right. His intuition kicked in. After many tests, the doctors could not find anything. Because of his previous heart problems, however, the doctors did not feel right sending him home either. The doctors admitted him to the Observation Unit for the night. While in the Observation Room, Tom started feeling bad once again. He did not call the nurse, but he decided to first use his Apple Watch and take an electrocardiogram using the electric heart rate sensor on his watch for running and working out. Tom’s watch showed that he had an irregular heart rhythm. He immediately called for the nurse but knew she might need more confirming information since he was relying on his watch. An EKG was performed and sure enough, Tom was in Atrial Fibrillation. Tom also had a chest x-ray which suggested pneumonia. After a week-long stay in the hospital, Tom was sent home with medication. Moving forward 6 months, it was now Father’s Day and Tom along with Joyce were planning to go to Laura’s house for the day but first, he hit the pavement for an early run. While on his way back, Tom tripped on the sidewalk. He tore the skin and had a gash on his arm. Tom took his shirt off and made a tourniquet that he wrapped around his arm and ran back home. Tom called Urgent Care to see if they would be able to stitch his arm up since he was on blood thinners. They suggested he go to the Emergency Department at Atrium Health Cabarrus. Tom arrived at the Emergency Department for a 3rd time in the last year where the ER team took him back and stitched up his arm. Tom and Joyce have been amazed with the care they have received at Atrium Health Cabarrus. They continually brag about how amazing the staff was with every encounter at our hospital. Tom has been a patient four times at Atrium Health Cabarrus—the first at birth, as a small baby at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital. Tom’s last three encounters have been at the Emergency Department at Atrium Health Cabarrus. All the experiences have been outstanding, and Tom is grateful for the amazing care he received from all the medical teams at our hospital and the outcomes he experienced.

As an added surprise during the ceremony, Tom was able to meet the life-saving EMS workers who arrived at his home to rush him to the hospital. It was a night to remember! Tom and his family were so surprised to meet these special people. Thank you to all the EMS workers in our County and the medical teams at Atrium Health Cabarrus for the dedication, compassion, and care you provide each day at our hospital!

Not only were there shared stories but also tears and memories of those the guests chose to honor or remember during the tree lighting ceremony. We would like to thank Jay Wilkinson and Wilkinson Funeral Home for being our presenting sponsor for Lights of Love. A big thank you to our four co-chairs: Mayor Bill Dusch, Jane Jacobs, Kenny Winn and Rhonda Wright.

Your donations will support the Emergency Departments at Atrium Health Cabarrus, including both free-standing locations in Kannapolis and Harrisburg. Last year alone, our Emergency Departments treated a total of 125,000 patients! They are dedicated to providing round-the-clock, comprehensive and high-quality medical care to people of all ages. When you or your loved ones require urgent medical attention, our expert team will be available to provide assistance.

Thank you for your donation. All donors and their honorees will be listed below.

Lights of Love 2023

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Donation Total: $20.00 One Time

Cabarrus Healthcare Foundation is the charitable 501(c)(3) fundraising arm of Atrium Health Cabarrus. Cabarrus Healthcare Foundation Federal Tax ID # 58-2055709

PRESENTING SPONSOR

GIFT LEVELS

$20 Individual Light
$100 Starlight
$250 Candlelight
$500 Shooting Star
$1000 Circle of Love

Lights of Love Co-Chairs

Bill Dusch
Jane Jacobs
Kenny Winn
Rhonda Wright