Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 20, 2012

Letter of thanks: Selectman is pitch-man for hospital after his heart attack

Selectman is pitch-man for hospital

Judy Wakefield
Staff Writer

---- — Lawrence General Hospital’s spokesman for this year’s annual giving campaign gets right to the point: the hospital saved his life after he suffered a heart attack.

“I am alive, and thriving, due to the to the exceptional medical care that I received,” writes Andover Selectman Brian Major in the first sentence of a letter recently received in the mail by many residents.

Major suffered a heart attack last June after his usual early morning workout at the YMCA on Haverhill Street. He was 46 and writes about the chest pressure that wouldn’t quit as he drove away, thinking it could not be a heart attack because he is too young. But, it was a heart attack. This married father of four who is also a Boy Scout leader and wrestling coach in town, smartly pulled into Andover’s Public Safety Center on North Main Street. Firefighters got him to the hospital’s emergency room in an ambulance where hospital medical staffers were waiting for him.

“It was an easy letter to write, but very emotional for me. I had to go back to that day,” Major said of writing about “the scariest moment” of his life.

It’s the second time in three years that an Andover patient has been featured in the hospital’s annual giving campaign. Gene Doran of Andover was featured in 2010. Doran was badly injured in a freak barbershop accident in Shawsheen Square in April 1986. The building was being renovated and a workman’s nail gun misfired and pierced his spinal cord as he got a haircut. Doran was rushed to Lawrence General. He was paralyzed and has been in a wheelchair ever since.

Major said having quality medical care close to home is very important and he’s happy to be this year’s pitchman for LGH.

“You never know when something is going to happen,” Major said. “Now, I know that we have a state-of-the-art cardiac facility right here in our neighborhood...it’s good to know.”

Nicholas Zaharias, LGH vice president of philanthropy and marketing, said it was just a coincidence that two Andover patients were chosen for campaign.

“When patients come forward with great stories about our service and say they want to help, we jump on it,” Zaharias said.