Severe abdominal pain landed David Legg at Providence Milwaukie Hospital for a week. When he was discharged, the out-of-work businessman went straight to the billing office. “I’m sorry, but I’m unemployed. I have no money,” David told the clerk. The clerk graciously wrote off the entire bill. “The moment they wrote it off I said to myself, ‘I have to pay this back.’” That was 20 years ago.
More recently, David needed heart surgery. “I have a genetic heart condition,” he says. “My grandfather died of heart disease in his early 70s. The same thing could have happened to me.”
David had surgery at Providence Heart Institute and started cardiac rehabilitation at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center as soon as his doctors would permit.
One year after surgery, David scaled Mt. St. Helens. Two years after surgery, he celebrated with his friend, Cindy, by climbing to the 13,000-foot level of Mt. Kilimanjaro. David and Cindy volunteer with conservation groups to clear trails and restore natural habitats. David also volunteers at Providence Heart Institute’s Basecamp, encouraging patients after surgery.
“Providence gave me a new lease on life,” David says. “The surgeon said my new heart valve should last until I’m 100, so that’s my goal … keep going to at least 100!”
This past year David kept his 20-year-old promise to repay the billing clerk’s kindness. He earmarked $25,000 in his will for Providence. “It was easy. I told my lawyer what I wanted to do, he wrote it into my will, and we notified the Providence Office of Gift Planning.”
David’s bequest will help future patients access cardiac rehab. As David knows, keeping promises and chasing goals can be just what the doctor ordered for a happy, healthy heart.
“Providence gave me a new lease on life.”