A Grateful Family's Planned Gift Benefits UNM Hospital
On a crisp November day in 2015, Darren Moody was running an errand for his father. Although a minor health issue had nagged him for a couple of weeks, his mind was on other things. Suddenly, pain gripped his abdomen and quickly grew unbearable; something was seriously wrong. He rushed home and told his parents, Doug and Jacquie, to call for an ambulance.
Thanksgiving at the Moody home would have been a sorrowful event that year, if not for the highly skilled staff at UNM Hospital (UNMH). Comprehensive diagnostic testing and the judgement of experienced physicians indicated a need for emergency abdominal surgery. Darren was in his late 40s, and the complexity of his crisis required multiple medical and surgical responses, including three operations in the space of two days. The situation was dire; doctors told Doug and Jacquie he might not survive.
Darren's sister, Jenifer, traveled from Canada to be at his bedside. Through tense days in intensive care, the family kept vigil. "He was on a ventilator, with multiple IVs," Jacquie recalled. "It took a while for him to regain consciousness. He was at death's door, and I truly feel that the hospital gave him back to us."
The Moody family has always been active in community service and philanthropy, and they are also planning ahead to give back to Albuquerque, a city they've called home since 1991. Darren and Jenifer will benefit from a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) their father created when making his estate plans. A CRT generates an income stream for the donor and/or other beneficiaries during their lifetimes. The remainder of the assets in the Moody trust will eventually provide generous funding for institutions important to their family, and all New Mexicans.
Jenifer is supporting the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, and Darren is directing his portion of the trust to the UNMH Radiology, Emergency and Cardiology departments. He is thankful for surviving his traumatic ordeal, and also for care he's received from UNM Health Sciences specialists through the years for other chronic health issues.
Along the way, their parents' views about health care facilities shifted. Close family members had been involved as professionals or volunteers in the field, and Jacquie and Doug served as trustees and board members at a community hospital in Southern California. At the time, they had misgivings about public hospitals.
"Initially I had a negative attitude about UNM Hospital," Doug said, "even though I didn't know much about it." His neighbor, a retired physician, gave him some points to consider. "I learned that because UNMH is a teaching hospital," Doug explained, "it means that highly credentialed and respected people are on the faculty. So not only do we have all that expertise, but we also have these newly trained doctors doing the rounds, providing their opinions. I never thought of it from that perspective before."
Jacquie has served on the board of advisors for the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Darren has immense appreciation for UNMH. "Once you get through those doors," he said, "the care you receive from the staff, even for people who are unable to pay for services, is unbelievable. There's a very positive energy there, and they've done so much for me. I love that hospital."
Story by Hilary Mayall Jetty