Doctors Making a Difference

Countless Bon Secours physicians transform the lives of their patients with extraordinary care. In honor of Doctors Day, March 30, we share one moving story from a patient of Dr. Marc Katz, chief medical officer of the Bon Secours Heart & Vascular Institute in Richmond.

The Pendletons with Dr. Katz

Dr. Katz joins Pendleton and her family in the lobby of St. Mary’s Hospital.

Teresa Pendleton and her husband Todd were settling in at home with their two-week old baby just in time for the holidays. They looked forward to celebrating Christmas with their four children.

But one night she was awakened with severe chest pain. Terrified, she and her family rushed to the emergency department. They learned that the linings of three arteries had ruptured, leading to a massive heart attack.

"We didn’t even know if I was going to make it," said Pendleton.

Doctors repaired the arteries, but her heart was too weak to pump on its own, so cardiac surgeon Dr. Marc Katz installed a permanent heart pump.

Pendleton recovered for several weeks while her husband cared for their four children at home. As Christmas approached, she grew concerned about being away from her children while she recovered.

But Dr. Katz saved Christmas for the Pendleton family, coming to the hospital dressed as Santa Claus. He distributed gifts to the family that he and his family had selected.“It was so neat to see the joy in my kids’ faces. It just took the pain away,” she said.The Pendletons still consider Dr. Katz part of the family. They, along with some of his staff, completed a threemile Heart Walk together in October. “Dr. Katz is not only a great surgeon, he also has a terrific heart.”

The Pendletons with Dr. Katz

 Dr. Katz joined Pendleton, her husband Todd and Bon Secours employee Lisa Austin for a heart walk.


March 30 is National Doctors Day.

The Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation salutes our physicians for the extraordinary care they share every day. To honor a doctor who made a difference for you, log on to or call 804-287-7700.