When people ask me what’s the secret to reaching my 100th birthday, I tell them faith, family and eating right. I also say that I had a lot of help from the doctors at Mercy Hospital.

That’s because at 99, I had a heart attack.

I was first taken to Kenmore Mercy Hospital near my home in Tonawanda and then to Mercy where cardiac specialists attended to me. They were wonderfully kind and caring, explaining that a faulty aortic valve had caused the heart attack. They were able to perform the valve replacement at Mercy using a transcatheter, a minimally invasive procedure. I’m just amazed that I had no after effects and, nine months later, I am feeling great.

I was married for 65 years, had four children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren and was so fortunate in a century of living. Mercy Hospital gave me my life back so I can start my next century. On top of all the wonderful care I received, Mercy Hospital sent me birthday wishes when I turned 100 the day after Christmas. It really is a special place to me.

Being cared for by such gifted, talented and dedicated doctors is truly a miracle. That is why I want to recognize Dr. Harsh Jain, MD, cardiothoracic surgery specialist, and Dr. Joseph Gelormini, MD, cardiology specialist.

Your continued support of Mercy Hospital Foundation is truly appreciated. Join me, by using the convenient form below to make your gift, or visit their website to make your secure donation online at CHSBuffalo.org/Foundations. You, or someone you love, may have had a great experience with the caregivers at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, or one of their affiliated ministries. I encourage you to share your story by filling out the enclosed Angel of Care card.

With my sincerest thanks,

Joan LaDuca