"I Don't Know Where I'd Be Without IRMC"
Like most people blessed with good health, Charles “Chuck” Ames hadn’t given much
thought to healthcare or disease throughout his life. He was busy serving as vice
chairman of a private equity firm in New York City. When Chuck wasn’t working, he
was authoring business books and being a husband and father. His wife of 62 years,
Joyce, "Jay", was occupied raising a family. Despite their active schedules, the
couple always gave back to their community. It was no different when they moved
to Vero Beach a few years after Chuck retired. In 1993, they became Eagle Society
members with Indian River Medical Center Foundation. Although they had never used
the hospital’s services, the Ames understood that philanthropy is key to
maintaining exceptional medical care close to home.
Their philanthropic spirit served them well. March 17, 2008, St. Patrick’s Day,
turned out to be a lucky day for Chuck, although it started out quite differently
– potentially life threatening in fact.
"About 3 a.m., I awoke not feeling well," says Chuck. "Soon it became clear that
I needed to get to the Emergency Room at Indian River Medical Center as quickly
The Right Care at the Right Time
Chuck had suffered a major stroke. Thanks to the prompt attention he received at
the Emergency Room, the excellent patient care throughout the week that followed
in the hospital, and first-rate rehabilitation care, Chuck has had a good
recovery. "I don’t know where I’d be without IRMC," Chuck says. "I still do
physical therapy and have some difficulty walking, but that’s not unusual for
While Chuck’s timely, expert care was invaluable, he and Jay are also grateful
for the staff’s kindness. Jay was allowed to stay overnight in his hospital room.
During his long recovery, Chuck says that IRMC speech therapist Tracey Kea, whom
he considers the best in the business, was "very encouraging.” He and Jay showed
their appreciation by providing the funds for the VitalStim® Therapy equipment
that helps restore speech and swallowing function for people who have had a
stroke or other neurological illness or injury.
Chuck benefitted from IRMC’s status as a Primary Stroke Center, which has earned
the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission. When a stroke occurs,
the right care at the right time can make or break a patient’s future quality of
A Family Tradition
Philanthropy is such a part of the Ames family tradition that in 2009 they
established the Ames Family Foundation. Three of their children are board
members. Each shares their parents’ commitment to give back to their community.
"None of us know when we’ll need medical care, but when you do, you want the
best possible treatment. I felt compelled to give to the Foundation because an
organization must keep stretching and getting better." Chuck and Jay back up
their commitment to IRMC’s pursuit of excellence in patient care through their
To join Chuck and Jay in their commitment to IRMC’s pursuit of excellence in
Click here to make a gift or please call 772.226.4960.