John's Story

John Augustine in HospitalThe iPACT Fund is a result of John Augustine’s fight with a virus that attacked his heart. The attack placed John in a state of “cardiac shock” for seven days. John was placed in a heavily sedated state to allow his body to rest and fight the virus. John has no memory of the battle he fought for his life during his seven day sedation.

At one point during the fight, John’s heart rate was only functioning at a 13% ejection rate. He had a balloon inserted and positioned around his heart to assist the heart’s pumping. The outlook was bleak at best. His wife and family were told three scenarios over the seven day tribulation from "it could go either way"; to, "we are preparing to place him on the heart transplant list to find a match;" to, "we can save him but he will be in intensive care for up to a month and be placed in a rehab facility for 3 to 4 months and there is no guarantee of a full recovery."

Seven days later John opened his eyes and wanted to communicate. Being on a ventilator prohibited him from talking. John began to write in the air to no avail. He was then handed a 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper with the alphabet printed on it: this was the start of the need for the iPACT Fund.

John Augustine and FamilyJohn struggled with many attempts to spell out words and ask questions only to end in frustration. Upon a second attempt, John pointed to I P A D, again I P A D. His wife said, “Oh, you want your iPad? I don’t have it, someone form work came and got it because they knew you would want to start working when you woke up and you’re not going to be doing any work for awhile.”

John laid back down, disappointed, and sat back up once more. This time to spell out I P O D. His wife replied with a comment about wanting to listen to music, and John began to point at a photo of his daughters and spelling out the oldest one's name. His wife realized John wanted their iPod Touch.

John’s wife ran home to bring it to him and the concept the iPACT fund began to take shape. For about the next 36 hours, until he was taken off the ventilator, John was able to communicate with ease. He could let his family know how much he loved them, let the doctors and nurses know how he was feeling and, most important to John, ask the question: what happened?

John recovered and walked out of the hospital three days later. He and his family have decided to pay it forward through the inception of the Interactive Patient Assistive Communication Technology Fund (iPACT), a non-profit 501(c)3 fund operated in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. As the fund grows, monies will be distributed to hospitals to support the infusion of technology into patients' hands.

The iPACT fund supports patient recovery through the use of technology. Please join the iPACT Fund; your donation will make a difference.


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