A fresh layer of snow meant Christmas was almost here. John Sargent bundled up and set out to work building a home on Georgia Place in Anacortes. It was 1986. The neighbor’s dog, Dingo, kept John company as he drove the tractor around the property. John paused to check the tractor’s bucket. The next thing John remembers is being on the ground with several broken ribs and 11 pelvic fractures. The tractor’s gears had engaged and rolled over him.
With no one to hear his cries for help, John laid there severely injured as snow continued to fall. Always one to think quickly, John used his belt to fasten a collar and attached his watch to Dingo. John hoped his clue would be found and help would come.
The dog eventually meandered home. When owner, Ole Lindbo, found John’s watch attached to the Dingo’s collar, Ole instantly knew something was wrong. Ole found John and sent for help.
John Sargent was reunited with his wife and kids at Island Hospital, where he stayed for two weeks while recovering from his injuries. John and wife, Marge, were so impressed with the care and kindness they received that, thirty years later Marge still speaks with fondness for the nurses and doctors, even the front desk volunteers, who cared for them while at Island Hospital.
Marge’s experience motivated her to start volunteering at Island Hospital. At first she helped with clerical work, but over the years she could also be found assisting with cholesterol draws or the community relations department or calling patients to confirm appointment times. However, the majority of Marge’s 10,000 volunteer hours was spent escorting patients to prepare for surgery and tending to families who were waiting.
Because Marge spent so many years serving the patients and their families in the surgery department, she was prompted by her kids to give a legacy gift – a donation that would help patients long after her tenure as a volunteer. “Island Hospital has been so good to us. They needed new equipment and so we tried to help.”
Because of Marge’s gift, a LigaSure device was purchased. The LigaSure device helps to reattach tissue during surgery with better accuracy and automatically adjusted heat reduces the impact of surgery on localized tissue ultimately improving patient recoveries.
What began as an unfortunate accident led Marge to volunteer 10,000 hours over a 30 year period and provide a legacy gift that will serve patients and improve their recoveries for years to come. It was an accident that, fortunately, led to years of service and a legacy of generosity for the wellbeing of your community.