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Tree of Life Is Saving Lives


Join the SMHC Auxiliary in honoring or remembering someone special while raising money to save others’ hearts
Keith Marsico had been having mild chest pain and various other symptoms when he arrived at Southern Maine Medical Center’s (SMMC) Emergency department in July.  He had a heart attack.  In less than an hour, Marsico was stabilized at SMHC and being prepped for a stent to be placed in his heart at Maine Medical Center (MMC). 

Do you think “heart attack” are two of the most frightening words in the English language? If so, you probably know a heart attack survivor or knew someone who did not survive.  Survivors are often described as “lucky” but luck plays a small role in most survivors’ stories.  Skilled health care professionals using sophisticated equipment at the right time are the key elements that restore heart functions.

Medical Assistant Joni, Marsico’s wife, adds, “Dr. (Michael) Schmitz took great care of my husband as did the nurses and paramedics.  I was pleased to see the quick action and because of them my husband is home and feeling better than ever.  Thank you.”  

Help Save Lives
Lighting a tree can save a life – your spouse’s life, your parent’s life, or maybe your neighbor’s life. The SMHC Auxiliary has kicked off their annual Tree of Life campaign to do just that – save lives of those within our community and you can help. This charity fundraising program by the SMHC Auxiliary focuses on providing SMHC doctors, nurses and emergency caregivers with a state-of-the-art defibrillator needed to ensure that fewer heart attacks are fatal events.

“This campaign is critically important. It allows us to provide lifesaving and expensive equipment our community needs when an emergency occurs,” stated Auxiliary president Patricia A. Bibber. “Last year the Tree of Life raised over $10,000 which came as a result of much community support. Every donation makes a significant difference for those whose lives are saved.”

All donations made in honor or in memory of someone will be celebrated during the Annual Tree Lighting on Wednesday, December 4 at 4:00 p.m. in SMHC’s Main Lobby. Heart attack survivor Marsico will flip the switch to illuminate the trees, kicking off the holiday season, and Auxilians will read the names of all those who are being honored or remembered.  If you would like to be included in the list of donors and have your loved one remembered, donations can be made to the SMHC Auxiliary, Attn: Tree of Life, P.O. Box 484, Kennebunk, ME 04043.

About Southern Maine Medical Center
Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) is a national award-winning healthcare system, including an acute care medical center licensed for 150 beds in Biddeford, Maine, offering excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group with medical offices providing outpatient care located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Saco. Non-emergency care is available without an appointment seven days a week at SMHC’s Walk-In Care center in Saco. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, Pathway to Excellence designated, state-licensed, and is a member of Southern Maine Medical Center and the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit or @smmcHealth.

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Media Contact:   
Karen Chasse
(207) 283-7238

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