Frank Macher: Grateful for Charlevoix ED Care

Frank Macher didn’t think too much of feeling fatigued following a working dinner and time spent boating one evening this past August. “We’d had a couple days of meetings and I figured that was what it was,” he said.

That evening, at his home in Charlevoix, Frank, 76, began experiencing “all kinds of flu-like symptoms.” Even then, though, he chalked it up to simply being under the weather. Soon enough, however, it became clear something truly wasn’t right.

“At 3 or 4 in the morning, I was actually having a lot of trouble breathing,” he said. Frank’s wife, Susan, drove him to the Emergency Department at Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital not far from their home. “We walked in and they were very responsive. I got instant attention,” he said.

A Serious Illness

Frank’s diagnosis: double pneumonia. “I had apparently been walking around that way for a while. My blood pressure dropped dramatically, to 70 over 40, and my heart rate was 30. It was pretty critical.”

Frank spent the next two days in the hospital, receiving care he described as “nothing short of amazing.” “They wasted absolutely no time to get tests done to determine what form of causal factor was involved with the infection,” he said.

Sharing His Gratitude

The experience prompted Frank to give back to the hospital, in the form of a $10,000 gift. “I can’t say enough about the caring and level of detail they gave me,” he said. “I feel that the importance of a local hospital that’s so close, and the critical nature of care in an emergency situation and the time it takes to get to a hospital, could be the difference between life and death. To me, this warrants the full support of the people of the community, whether you live here year-round or you are a six-month resident like me. The least I could do is share my gratitude.”

Frank is confident his gift will be put to great use. “I told them, if you need new equipment, some technology advancements, analytical tools – whatever the hospital thinks is best is good with me.”

Several months after his health scare, Frank is doing well and feeling great. The former Ford Motor Company executive and CEO of several automotive supplier companies retired from full time work in June – he’s been in advising positions since then – and is hoping to take it easy and enjoy his home on Lake Charlevoix’s Raspberry Beach.

His experience at Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital provided a fresh perspective on life. “It gives you a new appreciation of how important time is, and how important it is to get the kind of attention you need as soon as you need it,” he said. “The hospital’s close proximity is so valuable.”

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