Drs. William and Barbara Rafaill are no strangers to the effects of heart disease or heart related complications. Bill had a heart attack in 1998 and near total blockage of his left anterior descending artery (LAD).
He never had any chest pain, one of the most common symptoms of a blockage. By the time he had a catheterization, his heart was already damaged. "In the 90's they didn't recognize back pain as a symptom of a heart attack so I just went to the chiropractor. I am so grateful for the medical advances that have happened over the last decade and the work of the American Heart Association."
Barb was born with a congenital heart defect and had open heart surgery when she was 9 years old. They couldn’t repair her mitral valve at the time, but years later she underwent surgery and it was successful. She still had problems with arrhythmia and had a pace maker implanted. Barb is grateful for the miracles of modern medicine and research and "is hoping for a future of drugs with no side effects, more cardiovascular research and education”.
The Rafaills are members of the Paul Dudley White Legacy Society, having included the association in their estate plans. They are passionate about leaving a legacy that will save lives. This year they became members of the Cor Vitae Society as well. Taking their giving to a new level, they funded a gift for 22 CPR in Schools Kits in Calhoun and Oceana County in Michigan. Bill and Barb have always been passionate about their hometown of Albion, and they saw this as way to give back to the community.
Michigan’s CPR in Schools act was signed into law in December of last year. The goal is very simple – to save lives, and to empower Michigan’s youth to be lifesavers by giving them the skills and confidence needed to help during a cardiac emergency.
“We hope that everyone will join us to fund this important initiative”, Barb noted. “We are confident we can get there one gift at a time.”