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Resident makes donation for new hospital catheterization lab

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 25, 2020

 Grosse Pointe Farms resident Thomas Mackey, pictured with his dog, Scruffy, recently donated $1 million to Ascension St. John Hospital for the purchase of a new hybrid cardiac catheterization lab.

Grosse Pointe Farms resident Thomas Mackey, pictured with his dog, Scruffy, recently donated $1 million to Ascension St. John Hospital for the purchase of a new hybrid cardiac catheterization lab.

Photo provided by Ascension St. John Hospital

DETROIT/GROSSE POINTE WOODS — For several years, Grosse Pointe Farms resident Thomas Mackey has received excellent health care at Ascension St. John Hospital on the Detroit/Grosse Pointe Woods border.

As a way to say thank you and to also help other patients undergoing testing, treatment and care, Mackey recently donated $1 million to the hospital to fund a new hybrid cardiac catheterization lab.

“I’m not in good health and I’ve got some money to give away,” Mackey, 84, said. “I’ve had several of the catheterizations done by St. John.”

A hybrid cardiac catheterization is a procedure to examine how well the heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to the heart. During the procedure, the pressure and blood flow in the heart can be measured.

According to hospital officials, a hybrid catheterization lab combines the traditional diagnostic functions of a cath lab with the surgical functions of an operating room. The new cath lab will enhance the services 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,” Thomas LaLonde, M.D., chief of cardiology and cardiovascular services at Ascension St. John, said in a prepared statement. “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 recently had a heart attack and said that cardiologist Marc Gosselin saved his life. Mackey wanted to give back to the hospital where he has received his health care for years, which has included hip replacements, knee surgery, heart care and diabetes care.

“When I asked what they needed, they suggested several things,” Mackey said.

Because of his recent heart scare, Mackey decided to provide for the new cath lab.

“I felt very fortunate with Dr. Gosselin,” Mackey said. “I’ve been going to him. He’s very, very detailed. I like him very much. I’ve been very pleased with him.”

Mackey said he’s mainly into animal welfare, and his rescue terrier, Scruffy, is always by his side. According to a hospital press release, the Michigan Humane Society is a beneficiary of Mackey’s philanthropy. It has a state-of-the-art facility in Detroit named after him: the Mackey Center for Animal Care. He also helped create the Thomas A. Mackey Animal Adoption Center at the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society in Harper Woods.