Fall 2021
Gratefully Yours

Compassion above all else


Dear pulmonary hypertension care team,

It has been a while since I have seen many of you, but I wanted everyone to know that I frequently think of the compassionate care you showed my wife, Vikki, during her long struggle with pulmonary hypertension (PH). As we approach six years since Vikki’s death, I am still grateful to all of you—physicians, nurses, and other members of the care team—for everything that you did for her (and me) during the many months she was in your capable hands at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center.

When Vikki was first diagnosed with PH in 2011, the outlook was grim. But she attacked the disease with energy and an intense commitment to beat the odds. The care that you provided to us during Vikki’s extended hospital stays was nothing short of amazing. You all were knowledgeable, dedicated, and caring beyond description, responsive to every clinical and personal need, and brimming with positive energy.

When Vikki finally received her lung transplant on Labor Day of 2015, you treated us like family.

Many of you came by to check on Vikki, even when you were caring for other patients. You cheered and celebrated with us when Vikki had a good day, and you consoled and cried with us during the dark days. Although Vikki passed away later that year, we both knew that she had received the best care possible.

It is hard to find the right words to express how touched I was with all you did for us. By creating the Vikki Auzenne Fund for Excellence in Pulmonary Hypertension Nursing, I wanted to express my gratitude and provide funding to support continuing education and research opportunities for the amazing pulmonary hypertension nurses at University of Minnesota Medical Center.

With my deepest appreciation, thank you.


Joe Levitch