DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Ascension St. John Hospital is getting a new hybrid catheterization laboratory to enhance services for heart patients, thanks to the donation from a generous community member.

Thomas Mackey, age 84, of Grosse Pointe Farms, is this generous donor, and he gave the hospital $1 million so that he could help make a difference while he’s still alive.

Mackey has received healthcare from Ascension St. John for years, and he decided he wanted his gift to be a catheterization lab because when he had a heart attack cardiologist Marc Gosselin saved his life.

“I’m still here because of Dr. Gosselin’s expert care,” Mackey said. “I can’t say enough good things about him and the hospital.”

Having gone through similar situations, Mackey knows the importance of cath labs and wants others to have access to this one if they need specialized treatment.

A hybrid catheterization lab brings together the traditional functions of a cath lab with the surgical abilities of an operating room. This new cath lab will enhance the services currently offered by the Gretchen C. Valade Cardiovascular Hybrid Operating Room and Minimally Invasive Structural Heart Program.

“We have always prided ourselves on delivering state-of-the-art cardiovascular care to our patients,” said Thomas LaLonde, MD, chief, Cardiology and Cardiovascular Services, Ascension St. John. “Mr. Mackey’s generous donation will provide additional access to advanced technology and allow our expert cardiology team to deliver the best possible percutaneous cardiovascular intervention.”

Mackey has also made donations to support the Skills Simulation and Education Center at Ascension St. John, and the Holley Institute. He has also expressed his love of animals through his donations made to the Michigan Humane Society. The Mackey Center for Animal Care in Detroit and the Thomas A. Mackey Animal Adoption Center in Harper Woods are both named after him.

“I’d rather give my money where it can help than spend it on myself,” Mackey said. “I’d like to think I’ve made a little bit of a difference in this world.”

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