Friends to raise funds for heart attack victim
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org March 21, 2013 2:06PM
Mary Collopy, of Orland Park, sets up Lady the English Mastive, for some aquatic therapy at Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Thursday, February 28, 2013. Collopy suffered a heart attack in December while at work and now her employer, Judy Schnur, is putting together a fund raiser to help pay medical bills. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 23, 2013 1:19PM
Mary Collopy never anticipated her health would take such a turn for the worse.
But thanks to her co-workers and friends, she’s getting a boost.
Collopy suffered a heart attack in December while working at Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort in Chicago Ridge. She wound up having triple-bypass heart surgery and only recently returned to work.
Collopy also is a certified veterinary technician and certified canine rehabilitation practitioner at Chicago Animal Rehab.
Her friends, led by Judi Schnur, the owner of Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort, are planning a fundraiser to help Collopy with her extensive medical bills. “A Heart for Mary” is to be held from 7 p.m. to midnight March 22 at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park.
Tickets are $25 for age 13 and older, $10 for children ages 6 through 12. Children 5 and younger are free. Admission includes a food buffet, and beer and wine for those of age. There will be raffles and silent auctions, with musical entertainment provided by the band Under Construction.
Collopy is grateful for the assistance because she did not have health insurance.
“The bills? They are astronomical. I haven’t added them up. I don’t even open them up anymore. I didn’t have health insurance at the time. I had two part-time jobs and I couldn’t afford health insurance,” she said.
She was able to pay her bills but wasn’t able to save a lot of money.
She was surprised when she had the heart attack.
“I wasn’t having any symptoms or anything like that. But that day it was severe pain in my upper chest and in my left elbow. I got real sweaty and clammy. I wound up being taken to Christ Hospital, where I had to have a triple bypass,” she said. “I’m only 53. This is very traumatizing.”
She was briefly in a coma and wound up being laid up for five weeks, which led to muscles atrophying and her needed physical therapy.
“My muscle tone is coming back, but it’s not quite there yet. I’m still in constant pain in my right leg and I can’t sleep well,” she said.
Collopy is almost at a loss for words when it comes to the fundraiser.
“I’ve really been blessed with so many people who care about me. I’m just overwhelmed by all of this. It’s been a real eyeopener,” she said.
She’s worked for Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort for six years.
“I enjoy working with the animals. I do rehab work on dogs that have neurological and orthopedic problems, and I’ve had a pretty good success rate in helping them out. It’s very rewarding. The dogs come in twice a week and I get to know their owners really well,” Collopy said.
She enjoys what she does and likes working for Schnur.
“Judi is amazing. She’s got the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known,” Collopy said.
Schnur said planning the event was an easy decision because Collopy is a loyal employee. Maybe too loyal.
“The day she had the heart attack, she wouldn’t let us call the paramedics. Then our maintenance man found her outside leaning up against a wall and he walked her to the firehouse across the street,” Schnur said. “She’s just a wonderful employee, though, and is very good at what she does.”