The Lifeso's Story

May is Leave a Legacy month – a time when we are all asked to consider leaving a gift in our will to a charity of our choice.

Did you know that a gift in your will to the University Hospital Foundation will help create a healthier future?

One where Alzheimer’s disease is treatable. Patients with severe spinal cord injuries may walk again. And COVID-19 is a thing of the past, controlled by a vaccine and monitored by quick, convenient testing.

Planned gifts have already brought advancements to the University of Alberta Hospital, such as incision-free brain surgery and world class cardiac care. A gift in your will can do the same.

Clayton and Betty Lifeso worked hard all their lives to provide for their family. When they nearly lost their son Michael, they added a gift in their will to the University Hospital Foundation to thank the medical teams that saved him – and to ensure that anyone who needs it receives the same level of life-saving care.

When he was 43, Michael Lifeso had a heart attack. Shortly after his recovery, his lungs began to fail – eventually to the point where they stopped working.

His parents, Clayton and Betty, were told their son did not have long to live.

As a last resort, Michael was put on life support at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute (Maz), which kept him alive until he received a successful double-lung transplant, also at the Maz.

Today, Michael is very much alive, making the most of his second chance at life.

For Clayton and Betty, their son’s ordeal was an eye opening experience they wish they never had – but they are grateful for the care he received.

“We had no idea community support plays such a role in healthcare,” said Betty. “It’s very likely Michael would not be with us without it.”

Generous donations to the University Hospital Foundation, including many from people who left gifts in their wills, equipped the Maz with the advanced life support equipment needed to keep Michael alive, and supported the expansion of the cardiovascular intensive care unit where he stayed before and after his surgery.

“The decision to leave a gift in our wills to the University Hospital Foundation was easy when we saw the impact we could have,” said Clayton. “Because it’s in our will, we can give more than we normally could, and have an even greater impact.”

“We want to make sure that the level of care that saved Michael is still there for our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren, and for everyone else in the community who may need it.”

Have you considered your own legacy, and how you might help provide healthcare excellence and innovation for generations to come? If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to call Caroline Thompson, our Director of Philanthropy, or ‪(825) 901-0095‬.

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