Rita’s Story: Make a Life-Saving Slam Dunk for Aneurysm
When Sam Garvin, Vice Chairman of the Phoenix Suns, had to decide where the ambulance should take his wife, he told them to take her to Barrow.
Rita Garvin was not feeling well and had been experiencing headaches all day. In the evening, she passed out, and later learned she had suffered a ruptured aneurysm. Because of the urgency of the situation, she was taken to the hospital nearest to their home, but Sam immediately reached out to Barrow to get his wife the help she needed.
The decision to come to Barrow was a life-saving slam dunk.
Barrow President and CEO Michael Lawton, MD, was instrumental arranging Rita’s emergency surgery, and she underwent the procedure with Barrow neurosurgeon, Andrew Ducruet, MD. Within a couple of days of discharge, she was in therapy at the Center for Transitional Neuro-Rehabilitation (CTN), under the direction of Dr. Pamela Klonoff.
“Barrow, to my family and to me, saved my life,” Rita says. “I am at a loss for words. It’s a huge part of my life. It gave me a second chance.”
Life-Saving Surgery, then Rehab
Rita feels grateful for the doctors, therapists and nurses she met. She believes Barrow took care of her as a whole person. The team included her husband and adult children in the rehabilitation process. She continues to keep in touch with some of the other patients she met. Rita attributes the strong bond to the caring therapists at CTN who fostered a contagiously positive environment for patients.
“Everybody goes above and beyond,” Rita adds.
Once she recovered, Rita and Sam wanted to give back to Barrow.
“We had such a positive experience and we wanted to impact other people to take advantage of Barrow,” Rita explains. “We can partner with the experts to give them the resources they need to change other people’s lives.”
Doubling Their Impact
Rita and Sam want to save other patients who are facing these ticking time-bombs in their heads by supporting the Barrow Aneurysm and AVM Research Center (BAARC). The brainchild of Dr. Lawton, BAARC seeks to understand the underlying genetics, formation and rupture of aneurysms and AVMs to discover better ways to detect and treat them, saving even more lives.
All gifts to the Barrow Aneurysm and AVM Research Center will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 by Rita and her family.
The Garvins’ gift not only supports the work Barrow does today, but also research and equipment for better treatments tomorrow.