After learning of the hospital's financial challenges due to delayed COVID relief and inadequate reimbursement, Mary Lou and Peter LeSaffre decided it was the right time to make a generous gift in support of the Lawrence General team they credit for saving a family member’s life.
Thanksgiving 2020 was lonely for many of us who were forced to spend Thanksgiving apart from our loved ones because of the pandemic. For Bob Sheehan of Haverhill, Thanksgiving 2020 was also the day he was hospitalized with COVID-19 at Lawrence General Hospital. He would spend the next several months in the hospital, most of the time on a ventilator, including 45 days in a coma, all the while surrounded by the dedicated Lawrence General care team.“They kept me going and saved my life and I wish I could personally thank every person at Lawrence General,” says Bob. “They’re my world and I consider them family.”
Family and friends are a big deal to Bob. During his treatment, the people who cared about Bob the most were unable to visit their brother due to COVID restrictions. His sister, Mary Lou LeSaffre, relied on Bob’s doctors, nurses and others to relay the clinical updates and information so she could keep the family updated on Bob’s progress.
“The doctors and nurses called me every single day for two months to explain treatment and let us know how Bob was doing. Even on Christmas eve,” says Bob’s sister, Mary Lou LeSaffre. “We were afraid of losing him, but the Lawrence General team gave us peace of mind. Even when the updates were discouraging, we knew he was getting the best care possible and that helped ease our fears.”
Today, Bob is feeling more like himself and like so many of us, looks forward to spending the holidays with the people he loves. He says his brush with death has given him a new lease on life.
“I wake up in a great mood these days,” says Bob. “After being that close to losing it all has me looking at things a little differently now. The recovery is greater than the setback!”
One of Bob’s goals during recovery was making a trip back to Lawrence General to personally thank his care team for saving his life. He had planned on doing that this summer but was motivated to move up his timeline after hearing media reports that Lawrence General was facing major financial challenges due to delayed COVID relief and inadequate reimbursement. Hearing the same reports, Bob’s sister, Mary Lou, and her husband, Peter LeSaffre, knew they had to help the heroes who had helped Bob and so many others.
On Monday, June 14, Bob and his sister Mary Lou, made a trip to Lawrence General to say thank you and deliver a donation in the amount of $100,000. It is the LeSaffre family’s hope that Bob’s story and their generous donation inspires similar acts of kindness.
“We could never repay the Lawrence General nursing staff, doctors, respiratory therapists and others on the dedicated and hardworking Lawrence General team,” says Mary Lou LeSaffre. “They are truly heroes and we are so grateful to the Lawrence General heroes for being here for Bob and this community.”
Lawrence General Hospital is grateful for Bob’s recovery, for the outstanding Lawrence General care team and capabilities, and for the generous donation from the LeSaffre family. The Lawrence General Hospital team has cared for more than 2,000 COVID patients hospitalized during the pandemic.
Learn more about the various ways you can support Lawrence General Hospital, by clicking here.