John and Hannelore Davis made a Guardian Angel gift to celebrate expert heart care at Sanford Bismarck. A new fundraising campaign will help enhance and expand services for more patients.

Forever grateful for heart care at Sanford Bismarck

December 9, 2019

As an avid scuba diver and world traveler, John Davis has clocked more than 800 hours under water, routinely venturing into depths of up to 100 feet.

So when John felt winded walking 20 feet across a street near his Bismarck home, John and his wife, Hannelore, had cause for concern.

John soon met with Sanford Bismarck cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Tim Pansegrau, who gave John two pieces of news.

“The good news is you have never had a heart attack or stroke,” John recalled Dr. Pansegrau saying. “But the bad news is you need to have four bypasses.”

“The truth is it was a shock,” John said. “But I trusted Dr. Pansegrau completely.”

Dr. Pansegrau performed a quadruple bypass in September 2013.

John recovered well, but a couple years ago, he needed surgery again, this time to clear his carotid artery. Dr. Pansegrau operated once again, and since then, John hasn’t experienced further problems.

“Dr. Pansegrau is my savior,” John said. “He’s the reason I’m here. It’s hard to express the feeling of putting your life in someone’s hands, but you can put your life in Dr. Pansegrau’s hands. You can trust him.”

John takes full advantage of his good health, continuing to travel the world with Hannelore. The couple keeps up an impressive frequent flyer status and has visited more than 90 countries.

“Having a doctor like Pansegrau here in Bismarck is priceless,” John said. “You can’t put a value on having great physicians like him. If I can do something that will help keep doctors like him here, I will do it.”


A Heart for the Future

The Davises were so moved by John’s experience, they gave $50,000 to the Sanford Health Foundation in honor of Dr. Pansegrau to support local heart services.

“It’s a good feeling to be able to contribute something to a place like Sanford,” John said.

Today, donors like the Davises have the opportunity to pioneer the next generation of heart care in central and western North Dakota.

In October, Sanford Bismarck unveiled plans to build a new state-of-the-art heart hospital. As part of this exciting announcement, the Sanford Health Foundation launched A Heart for the Future, a fundraising campaign to expand patient care and services within existing facilities and the new heart hospital.

To learn more about A Heart for the Future, please contact one of our major gifts officers: