Twice Saved, a Patient Gives Back Mark’s Story

Mark* was living through winter like everyone else: spending time with family and friends, dreaming of warmer weather in the summer months and excited for spring to come into full bloom. Then, suddenly, Mark wasn’t like everyone else. Instead, he was rushing to the emergency department at Adventist Health Portland with symptoms that led to unnerving news: his heart was not working properly.

This was a flashback for Mark. Thirty years earlier, he was rushed to the same emergency department with an active heart attack. Every chamber of his heart was failing. The emergency department team stabilized him, then the heart team performed a quadruple bypass.

Would he survive another cardiac emergency? All Mark could do was think, “I just need to give all my hopes and feelings to God. He’ll pull me through.”

Mark was at the right place — a hospital known for its award-winning cardiovascular program — and the team at Adventist Health Northwest Heart Center, formerly known as Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular, came to his aid. Tests showed Mark was suffering from atrial fibrillation, or AFib, a condition that affects only 6% of adults older than 60. This condition caused the upper chamber of his heart to flutter irregularly, reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to vital parts of his body.

Soon, Mark’s team had his heart back in rhythm through a cardioversion. Just like his first time in the emergency department, Mark was extremely grateful for the timely specialized care he received.

“I am not great with names, but every person who took care of me was great,” Mark shares. “They were all so bright and cheerful… loving and offered kind care.”

Mark is thankful the Adventist Health Portland emergency and cardiovascular teams helped him walk out the doors — not once, but twice.

“I am so thankful to be alive… [Adventist Health Portland] always has good outcomes. And based on my family’s experience at other hospitals, I would choose Adventist Health again,” Mark says.

Because of that wonderful care, Mark decided to donate to the Adventist Health Portland Foundation and help extend care to more of his neighbors.

Now Mark is back to living a full life, loving the summer sun and watching his garden fill with squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. The same generosity that drove him to support the foundation sees him sharing his summer bounty with his family and neighbors. “I am so thankful that I have another day to enjoy the Lord, be with my family and to be a good neighbor,” he says.

*Name changed.

Would you like to help extend care to your neighbors and community? Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to a fund that touches your heart.

More Stories That Inspire

Martha Andrus

Mother Shares Gratitude for "Earthly Angels"


"Despite our inability to recall all your names, we will never forget the deep impression you made on us... Thank you for making the unthinkable bearable."


Vivian Robertson

Community-Funded 3D Mammography Catches "Cancer Lite"


“It’s the difference between a speed bump on a road and a sink hole. I got diagnosed with ‘cancer lite’ thanks to 3D mammography.”


Every gift matters

Patient invests in the future of heart health at Adventist Health Portland


“Not too many men make it to age 80, and I have. I felt the advancement in cardiology has kept me going, along with God’s grace,” David explains.