Mike Mauren loved Minneapolis. He was the goalie for the University of Minnesota in 1959, graduated from Brown Technical Institute, ran his own advertising business, owned a sound studio, and produced commercials for radio. He thought his life was complete in the big city.
On November 22nd, 2006, the day before Thanksgiving, Mike traveled from his home in the Twin Cities to Grand Rapids, Minnesota where he was staying in a hotel for the holiday. He intended to return to the Twin Cities after the long weekend.
However, that evening, Mike fainted from dehydration causing renal failure. Mike recalls, "there was blood everywhere." Miraculously, the hotel owners discovered Mike was in distress and immediately called 911. Mike was brought to Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center by ambulance where he had multiple transfusions due to blood loss and was diagnosed with hypertension and Type II Diabetes.
Mike was in a coma until Sunday. When he woke up, the first thing he saw was someone standing at the end of his bed in a white coat. It was Dr. Gerald Engelsgjerd Sr. "All he needed was a halo," Mike said. He recalls Tracy, an ICU nurse, holding his hand and saying, "It is going to be OK."
It was at that time Mike found out where he was and why. He spent an entire month in the St. Mary's Intensive Care Unit and it took Mike nearly a year to walk without a cane.
Grateful for caregivers, kindness and care
When Mike reflects on his journey from hospitalization to rehabilitation and beyond, he is so grateful for the many physicians and medical staff who cared for him. He knows that without their sincere compassion and care, he would not be where he is today.
Dr. Ernest Peaslee has been Mike's internal medicine physician since 2007. He commented that Mike was so sick that he was lucky to be alive. Recently, Dr. Peaslee shared that it is a miracle how far Mike has come in his recovery.
Why he stayed in Duluth
"When I needed the help, I got it," Mike stated. "The more I was here, the more I did not want to leave."
Mike knew he had received care at a top-ranked hospital with top-rated physicians. He had experienced healing therapy in rehab, exercised daily in the fitness center, and enjoyed the kindness and concern expressed by the medical staff.
Every day when he leaves the Essentia Health Fitness Center, he visits the chapel and says a prayer of gratitude for being alive. Mike attributes his health and well being to the care he received at Essentia Health. When Mike decided to stay in Duluth, he said it was due, in large part, to Essentia Health.
What and why he gave
Mike knew he wanted to do something to honor all of the caregivers at Essentia Health. He visited the Patient Accounts Department, who then referred him to the Essentia Health Foundation.
Through the Essentia Health Foundation, Mike designated Essentia Health as beneficiary of his irrevocable life insurance policy. After his lifetime, the proceeds will be used for the greatest need of the hospital.
Mike credits the excellent care he received at Essentia Health along with many answered prayers for being able to overcome the serious health issues he has encountered. Mike knows he has been given another chance at life.