Mary Morell feels new energy with first Providence pacemaker

March 24, 2012

The mountain scene paintings by Mary Morell can be found in homes and offices all over Hood River County.

Now the retired orchardist has a new claim to fame, and lease on life: She has the first cardiac pacemaker installed at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

"I feel great. People tell me I look so much better, too. It's like having a new life," said Morell, 86.

She was taken to Providence emergency room on Saturday at 1 a.m., after the latest in what had been a string of fainting episodes.

"They haven't been able to figure out what the

dickens was wrong with me," she said. "My heart was just not beating normally and not beating regularly."

This time, she fell and broke two bones in her foot. She said the previous time she fainted, she was alone in her apartment, and out for about an hour.

"This time, I went down and I don't think I was out too long," she said. "I don't know which to grab first, the pain in my foot or the pain my ribs," joked Morell, who said she has to be careful for the next month in avoiding use of her right arm. She said her friend Dude Cain has been a major help to her.

Morell underwent surgery on Tuesday and was home on Thursday. Cardiologist Dr. Robert Florek did the procedure, and Morell also thanked her primary physician, Dr. Maria Czarnecki, of Hood River.

"The care at the hospital was superb in every way, shape and form," Morell said. "The girls who took care of me would come in before they went away for a two-day break to tell me hello and goodbye in case I left before they came back to work."

Morell and her late husband, George, came to the valley in 1947 and had a large orchard near Odell that they farmed. George died in 1974. The valley inspired the artist in her and for years she displayed her paintings at the Hood River County Fair.

But she slowed down considerably in recent years, and her pacemaker has her thinking about art again.

"Your life is 'over at 86'; haven't you heard? Oh, I feel happy and alive, much more than I had in a long time," Morell said.

The mountain scene paintings by Mary Morell can be found in homes and offices all over Hood River County.

Now the retired orchardist has a new claim to fame, and lease on life: She has the first cardiac pacemaker installed at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

"I feel great. People tell me I look so much better, too. It's like having a new life," said Morell, 86.

She was taken to Providence emergency room on Saturday at 1 a.m., after the latest in what had been a string of fainting episodes.

"They haven't been able to figure out what the

dickens was wrong with me," she said. "My heart was just not beating normally and not beating regularly."

This time, she fell and broke two bones in her foot. She said the previous time she fainted, she was alone in her apartment, and out for about an hour.

"This time, I went down and I don't think I was out too long," she said. "I don't know which to grab first, the pain in my foot or the pain my ribs," joked Morell, who said she has to be careful for the next month in avoiding use of her right arm. She said her friend Dude Cain has been a major help to her.

Morell underwent surgery on Tuesday and was home on Thursday. Cardiologist Dr. Robert Florek did the procedure, and Morell also thanked her primary physician, Dr. Maria Czarnecki, of Hood River.

"The care at the hospital was superb in every way, shape and form," Morell said. "The girls who took care of me would come in before they went away for a two-day break to tell me hello and goodbye in case I left before they came back to work."

Morell and her late husband, George, came to the valley in 1947 and had a large orchard near Odell that they farmed. George died in 1974. The valley inspired the artist in her and for years she displayed her paintings at the Hood River County Fair.

But she slowed down considerably in recent years, and her pacemaker has her thinking about art again.

"Your life is 'over at 86'; haven't you heard? Oh, I feel happy and alive, much more than I had in a long time," Morell said.

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