Giving Hearts Day hits close to home for Unity Medical Center in Grafton

The Unity Medical Center in Grafton is hoping to raise $60,000 this Giving Hearts Day to expand its cardiac and pulmonary rehab center.

Matthew Hankes underwent a successful heart transplant last weekend.
Submitted photo / Alan O'Neil - Unity Medical Center

GRAFTON, N.D. — For the staff at Unity Medical Center in Grafton, Giving Hearts Day means a little more this year.

The medical center is hoping to raise $60,000 to expand its cardiac and pulmonary rehab program.

Alan O'Neil, Unity Medical Center CEO, said the company is extending its space for the program. "There is so much demand for cardiac and pulmonary rehab, that we actually identified some new space in the hospital. We are purchasing new equipment and we hired some staff to be apart of it and we are looking forward to really growing it and to meet the needs of the patients in our region," he said.

Giving Hearts Day and the decision to expand the rehab program hits closer to home this year for O'Neil. His son-in-law Matthew Hankes recently underwent a successful heart transplant after battling a rare genetic disease that can cause sudden cardiac death if undetected.

"In a literal sense a donor did the right thing and signed up to be an organ donor and allows Matt and his family to continue their life and allow Matt to get back to the activities he loves," O'Neil said. "It's just tying together with the Giving Hearts, the transplant, and now the program we are expanding here at Unity Medical Center."


You can help the Unity Medical Center reach its $60,000 goal by donating on Thursday, Feb. 9, to the Giving Hearts Day website.

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