Jill & Arthur Couch
Jill Couch tells the story of her husband's heart attack, and how it led to the birth of the A. H. Couch Auckland Heart Trust.
Arthur was rushed into Auckland Hospital with a serious heart attack in 1972.
Under the guidance of his GP, Gaby Tetro, and cardiologist, Kevin O’Brien, Arthur spent quite some time recuperating from this traumatic experience.
On waking up to realise he had survived, he observed all the splendid support he was receiving from the doctors, nurses, and other staff. Without all of them combined he felt one’s survival would not be so positive.
Whilst resting day after day in his room he was feeling sad and depressed and felt the room didn’t have an uplifting feeling with no art on the wall to look at.
Staff explained to him that heart patients often feel depressed as part of the condition they are going through, and things would improve for him eventually.
That was when Arthur decided to provide financial support for a wide range of Cardiology Department needs – from assisting practitioners to attend key research conferences, to improving staff skills on new cardiac diagnostic equipment. Arthur’s new trust even proved to be a stimulus for more art on the hospital walls.
Arthur passed away in November 2002, aged 86 years, but the work of the A.H. Couch Auckland Heart Trust continues. For nearly 50 years, the trust has supported Auckland Hospital cardiology and now North Shore Hospital cardiology as well. Every new donation to the trust helps further Arthur’s dream of making sure every person admitted with heart illness will be treated in the same comforting way he experienced all those years ago, with highly-educated practitioners and support staff keeping the survival rate as high as possible.