Charitable Giving That Heals the Heart

Foundation checkDespite their young ages, the grandchildren of Jerry and Beverly Messbarger – Caitlyn & Myah Messbarger and Aidan, Vanessa, & Ashley Kilbarger – understand the elusive lesson that, many times, is learned too late in life: it is better to give than receive.

This year, instead of asking for Christmas gifts from their grandparents, the Messbargers’ grandchildren asked that a portion of their Christmas be a donation to the Fairfield Medical Center Cardiovascular Fund through the Fairfield Medical Center Foundation.

This charitable tradition began last year when their granddaughter, Caitlyn, donated the money she received from Jerry and Beverly to the Maternity Department at Fairfield Medical Center. The money was used to purchase eight HALO SleepSack Swaddles, which promotes safe sleep habits for infants, as well as two infant bereavement boxes (for more information on Caitlyn’s gift, please see

This year, Caitlyn, Myah, Aidan, Vanessa, and Ashley decided to give to a fund that hit closer to home. In November of 2012, their grandfather, Jerry, had a heart attack; Aryeh Cohen, M.D., performed a triple bypass and Jerry seemed to be on the road to recovery. Then, four days later, Jerry’s mitral valve exploded. Jose Norberto, M.D., performed open-heart surgery to replace the valve and nurse Sarah Compton leapt into action, moving Jerry from PCU to ICU. Beverly says, “She essentially saved his life. She is our guardian angel. If it hadn’t been for her, he wouldn’t be here today. We are so indebted and think so highly of both Drs. Cohen and Norberto and Fairfield Medical Center. The same goes for all of the great nurses in ICU and PCU.” Jerry now works out regularly at FMC’s Cardio Rehab facility and is in great health.

If you are inspired by the Messbargers’ and Kilbargers’ story and would like to support FMC, please contact Keely Pearce, FMC Foundation, at 740-689-4976.

Tags: Foundation, Cardio,