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Victor's Story

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Trust Heartfelt Care

For Victor Cerbins, giving truly comes from the heart. As the first open-heart surgery patient at University of Michigan Health-West, Victor has a renewed lease on life after receiving this life-saving procedure. He gives back to the Foundation, knowing firsthand that his support is impacting patients.

Knowing your investment propels the Foundation to activate and incubate healthcare change in West Michigan, will you consider making a year-end gift to continue this critical work within our community?

Thanks to transformational donor support, UM Health-West launched a state-of-the-art cardiovascular program in West Michigan in the fall of 2022. Since then, surgeons have performed more than 120 surgeries, far surpassing the first-year plan of 50 operations. This speaks to the urgent need in our community, as well as the amazing team of healthcare professionals recruited just for this purpose.

Even though Victor was the first open-heart patient at UM Health-West, his procedure was extensively planned, before being performed by a highly skilled team of cardiologists and surgeons from the Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan. 

Victor placed his trust in his care team, knowing they would utilize both the latest Foundation-funded, leading-edge equipment and set protocols to ensure that he, and every patient, would receive the same excellent standard of care before, during and after surgery.

“Here I am, just a year later, feeling great and doing things that I had done before… but now with more energy.”

He is proud to be active again, helping his neighbors and planning to enjoy a tropical cruise with his beloved wife, Nancy. 

Your commitment is vital to continue these life-saving procedures for patients like Victor.

“Donor support is critical because cardiovascular care requires a lot of specialized equipment,” shares Dr. Alphonse DeLucia III, leader of the UM Health-West cardiac surgery team. “Most people don’t realize that insurance reimbursement doesn’t cover the cost of upgrades. This state-of-the-art equipment means we can do what we’re trained to do best.” 

Dr. DeLucia knows that patient trust comes from more than fancy equipment alone. Patients also want to know their clinicians are committed to a compassionate and personal care experience, while also benefiting from the latest research-based training and educational resources. 

Will you place your trust in us, just as Victor did, and invest in keeping this comprehensive care in West Michigan… allowing patients to heal close to home?