The Lexington Medical Center Foundation received a $100,000 donation to fund blood pressure cuffs for high-risk patients in need throughout the Midlands.

Sybil and Jim Hudson gave the gift out of gratitude for the care they received from cardiologist Robert A. Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, of Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center. Jim Hudson honored Dr. Leonardi at Lexington Medical Center on Jun. 22.

“Dr. Leonardi is the truest example of professionalism and compassion I have ever seen,” Hudson said. “In a time of crisis, to have a doctor take such special care of you is truly an amazing and calming experience.”

The donation will fully fund home blood pressure monitoring systems for patients during the next four years. Recipients will be people with high blood pressure who have either experienced a stroke or who are at high risk for a stroke as they are discharged from the hospital.

Hospital clinicians will determine who receives the blood pressure kits based on risk and financial need. They will also provide the patients with education on how to properly use the kits and record results to show their health care provider.

“Hypertension is sometimes called 'The Silent Killer' because it may go undetected until it causes a stroke, a heart attack, or kidney failure,” Dr. Leonardi said. “Monitoring is the key to earlier diagnosis and better treatment, so the Hudsons’ incredibly generous gift will help at-risk patients to avoid these disasters.”

According to the CDC, one in three Americans has high blood pressure, and one out of every five high blood pressure patients is unaware of it. Home blood pressure monitoring systems allow patients to take a series of readings consistently over a length of time to make sure blood pressure is under control.

“The Lexington Medical Center Foundation is grateful for the generous support from Jim and Sybil as our organization works to provide programs that enhance the lives of our families, friends and neighbors, and deliver outstanding health care in the Midlands,” said Amy Lanier, executive director of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation.

Additional information about the Grateful Hearts giving program at Lexington Medical Center Foundation is available online.

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