Piedmont Stories2019-10-25T12:25:24+00:00

At Piedmont, caring for and caring about the patient drives everything that we do. Our mission is not just to cure the patient in a bed, but to care for and about our patients throughout their lives. It is why we are dedicated to making Piedmont an even better destination for the highest quality of care, enabling medical triumphs and celebrating the victory of life.

“We Have to Support Our Hospital”

Philanthropy came early to Bernie Marcus.

The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he grew up in a tenement in Newark, N.J. Despite the family’s financial struggles, his mother “taught me that you have to give back,” which is why the founder of The Home Depot has devoted his “second life,” as he calls it, to philanthropic pursuits.

A $75 million donation from The Marcus Foundation is the seed money for Piedmont’s capital campaign to support the expansion of its Atlanta campus, beginning with Piedmont Atlanta Tower that will house the Marcus Heart and Vascular Center.

Marcus underwent open heart bypass surgery at Piedmont, and “the doctors and the nurses were wonderful. The treatment was the best. I’m in great shape today, and I really give them credit for it.”

In addition to undergoing surgery at Piedmont, his reasons for supporting Building Better and helping to create the premier heart center in the Southeast harken back to the lesson he learned decades ago:

“We have to support our hospital. And Piedmont is the hospital we have to support.”

Piedmont: “Where I Was Supposed To Be”

Awaiting minor foot surgery at Piedmont, Myra O’Connor was shocked to learn from pre-op testing that she suffered from a heart defect. She needed mitral valve repair surgery, prompting her husband, Mark, to research the disease and the best physicians to treat it. He learned that one of the nation’s finest mitral valve surgeons was on staff at Piedmont’s Marcus Heart Valve Center – Dr. Frederico Milla.

Dr. Milla performed the surgery, and within weeks Myra “felt like my old self. Better than my old self!” Most importantly for her, she was able to help plan and participate in her daughter’s wedding, just a short time afterwards.

As she described it, “I’m just so thankful that the doctors recognized there was an issue, and took it seriously. I feel like I’ve been blessed. Piedmont was where I was supposed to be.”

Stage 4 Cancer?  “You go to Piedmont”

The phone call from his doctor hit Joel Saxon like a “kick in the gut.”

The diagnosis was dire: Stage 4 colon cancer.

Married and the father of two young daughters, Joel was shocked and wasn’t sure where to go or what to do for treatment. Until a close friend of his wife, Julie, implored them:  “You go to Piedmont.”

Guided by an experienced team led by a Piedmont surgical oncologist, Joel immediately undertook an aggressive treatment plan – Chemotherapy, followed by surgery. The process continued, for three cycles – as the cancer spread from Joel’s colon to his liver and ultimately his lungs.

Bolstered by high levels of hands-on support from the Piedmont team that treated them like “family,” as Julie described it, Joel has been cancer-free for almost a year. While the challenge has been tremendous, Joel has nevertheless found benefits.

“Getting cancer … taught me to cherish the moments with my children even more than I already did.”

“You Saved Two Hearts That Night”

Kathy Mote awoke suddenly, in the middle of the night, to find her husband, Bud, “cold and clammy” and suffering severe pain in his back. From their home in North Georgia’s mountains, she rushed him by car, 18 miles to Piedmont Mountainside in Jasper.

As Bud recalls: “They met me at the door, they took me back… and immediately upon checking said I was having a heart attack.”

Within minutes, Bud was on a helicopter, whisked away to Piedmont Atlanta and its Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where a top-notch team of physicians and nurses awaited him.

Quick action was essential, because “Time is muscle,” according to Margaret Salle-Dawson, an emergency room nurse on duty that night. “It was very critical that he had the (surgical) intervention. People do not survive this normally.”

Later, when Bud and Kathy had the opportunity to thank the helicopter crew that helped save Bud’s life, a relieved and grateful Kathy stated: “The fact that you were able to get (him) here so quickly — you saved two hearts that night.

Why We’re Building Better

The new Piedmont Atlanta expansion will cement the ability of its physicians and staff to continue to provide world-class healthcare for the city, the state and the Southeast – for years to come.

Phase one of the expansion is underway, with the new, state-of-the-art Marcus Heart and Vascular Center as its foundation. Once completed, the 16-story tower will feature technologically-advanced operating rooms, cardiac labs, critical and acute care facilities, and up to 408 beds – increasing the hospital’s capacity by 22 percent.

Enjoy this video tour of the new tower rising at the intersection of Peachtree and Collier roads in 2020, when it will be ready to serve the community.

“This important community grant is about the medicine and research.  But more important, it is about the fundamental role Piedmont Atlanta Hospital plays in the community and its ability to save lives.”

–  Philanthropist Bernie Marcus, supporting Piedmont’s establishment of the Marcus Heart and Vascular Center

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