Consider making a donation to Ridgeview Foundation's Lifeline for a Lifetime campaign

When triathlete Mike Shanahan of Watertown started raising money for a new recumbent cross-trainer for Ridgeview's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in 2011, he never imagined needing it himself seven years later.

Shanahan and his lifelong friend, John Fahey, a Norwood Young America resident, started the cross-trainer fundraiser campaign as a way to stay motivated while training for an Ironman Triathlon in 2011. Friends and family pledged their support while the two athletes faced the ultimate challenge of a grueling one-day competition that included a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.

"Participating in the Ironman was an awesome experience, and being able to raise money for the recumbent cross-trainer made all the hard work worth it," Shanahan explained.

Fast forward to spring 2017. Shanahan began ramping up training for his next triathlon. While running and biking near his home in Watertown, he often had trouble catching his breath after a workout and felt tightness in his chest.

"At first, I thought I was feeling rough because I increased my training or that I'd pulled a chest muscle during one of my workouts," recalled Shanahan. "But after a few weeks, the pain in my chest wasn't getting better. I knew it was time to see a doctor." Shanahan visited his primary clinic doctor, who determined additional tests were needed and referred him to Minneapolis Heart Institute at Ridgeview Heart Center in Waconia. The Cardiology team discovered three of his coronary arteries were blocked more than 80 percent. After specialists cleared the blockages with three stents, AShanahan was able to go home the next day and went back to full duty work as an electrical lineman just a week later.

Shanahan received the care he needed before he arrived in the Emergency Department, but for many of Ridgeview's patients, an ambulance ride to the emergency room is their introduction to cardiac care. "I was told that if I hadn't gone in, the blockages would've gotten worse and eventually I would have had a heart attack," Shanahan said. "Ridgeview is the best hospital around, and I'm so grateful for the care and treatment I received so close to home."

As part of his recovery, Shanahan received therapy from Ridgeview's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which helps cardiac patients improve their quality of life through exercise training and health education. During one of the therapy sessions, Shanahan exercised on the recumbent cross-trainer he helped pruchase via his Ironman Triathlon pledge drive.

"I never imagined I would use the cross-trainer I helped to donate; it was a surreal experience the day I worked out on it," Shanahan added.

Your donation to the LIfeline for a LIfetime campaign will help to ensure access to extraordinary physicians using the latest in state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. While we hope we'll never need it, it's comforting to know that Ridgeview has a world-class emergency department in our critical time of need.

The campaign helps to provide more than just physical updates to the Waconia Emergency Department. Funds from the project will also support a new, innovative emergency care model that will transform the way health care is delievered.

Set to begin construction in 2018, the Waconia Emergency Department remodel will include:

Streamlined registration and triage processes

Private family space

Specialized areas to accommodate senior, pediatric and mental health patients

High quality health care is a valuable resource for every community member. Preserving local access to excellent health care is a priority we all share. 

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Ridgeview Foundation Year End Appeal 2017