Grateful Hearts

Two years ago, Jeff Kling discovered some alarming news. After receiving a routine X-ray, he and his wife Susan Craik learned that Jeff had an aortic aneurysm, an ascending aneurysm and that he needed a valve replacement. At any moment, he was in peril of a life-threatening cardiac event.

The diagnosis came as a shock to them. Kling was in perfect physical health, and the couple enjoyed traveling and experiencing the world together in retirement. It turns out that Kling’s heart issues, genetic in nature, had been developing over the years and were now very serious.

“The first place we went was VCU Health because of the reputation here, and we were floored at the care he got,” Craik said. “Dr. Mohammed Quader took the time to explain every detail of what was going on, and we both felt so assured and comforted that we had found the right person to work on Jeff. We immediately cancelled our appointments for second and third opinions."

The experience, Craik said, furthered her commitment to the organization. “They saved his life, and we felt so well taken care of,” she said. “The doctors came and spoke to me because they could see the fear in me.”

Craik comes from a family of scientists, and she retired after a career promoting science and understanding in the community through Virginia Tech’s Cooperative Extension Service.

“I have a strong belief in the value of research and science,” Craik said. “I was looking for something that I truly believe in and wanted to leave some of our estate to, and I thought of the MCV Foundation.”

Craik says that she and her husband have experienced the additional pain and challenges that can happen when loved ones pass way without documenting intentions for their estate. They agreed they did not want to leave that burden behind on their family and friends.

“Planned giving was the only way we could go,” Craik said. “I left the gift open so that it could be used where needed because I think everything that’s done at the university and hospital is equally important. I can’t really be specific about where the money will help, but I just want it to go where it’s most needed.”

If you would like to create your legacy with a planned gift to support patient care, research and education on the MCV Campus, please contact Ann Deppman, director of gift planning.