Marie Ann Labrie reached a turning point during a severe atrial fibrillation attack two years ago. After returning home from the gym, her chaotic heartbeat caused her to faint on her kitchen floor, leaving her bruised along the left side of her body.
Luckily, her husband was home, and she was already under the care of William Gregory Stevenson, MD, director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stevenson “dropped everything” to be there for her, Labrie says. “He said the time has come for a pacemaker.”
Stevenson convinced her there was no time to delay, and scheduled her for the procedure the next day. “He did me the biggest favor of my life,” she acknowledges.
To show her gratitude, Labrie recently updated her will to include a bequest gifting half of her estate to the Watkins Cardiovascular Clinic at BWH, in honor of Stevenson and Michael Owen Sweeney, MD, who installed her pacemaker.
Labrie had been thinking of making a change to her will for a while, and realized how simple it was after reaching out to her lawyer. “It was extremely easy. It took no more than 10 minutes,” she explains. “I would recommend it to anyone who has a love for the Brigham as I do.”
Today, the 68-year-old is able to work out at a health club three to four days a week, confident that her pacemaker will regulate her heartbeat.
“Brigham and Women’s Hospital is everything to me,” she says. “I want to help others who need good care.”