A New Jersey resident, David Czerniecki spends part of his work week in Hartford where he is Chief Investment Officer for local insurer Nassau Financial Group. Being away from his home and family so often, he decided to find something to do in his free time in Hartford—and so he turned to tennis.

“I was taking a tennis lesson—and it was my second lesson ever—when all of a sudden I felt dizzy and went down,” shares David. “If you’re a football fan, you may remember what happened to Damar Hamlin, that’s what happened to me.”

In 2022, Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills suffered from a sudden cardiac event during a nationally televised game, rendering him unconscious and the audience in the stadium and at home in a quiet state of shock and concern.

“Same thing as Hamlin,” David continues. “Several differences though—I didn’t get hit by a big guy and I didn’t have a doctor and an ambulance on the side of the field. I was very lucky however that there was a woman there who knew CPR, and Hartford Hospital was nearby.”

David was rushed to Hartford Hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma for a day and a half. When he woke up, he didn’t remember much from the incident—but he did quickly realize the high level of care he had been receiving.

“My wife Christine was with me in the hospital—and she is a veterinarian, so she understood everything that was going on,” shares David. “She was highly complementary of the cardiology team—how they were very clear with information and how hard-working and responsive they were. The nursing team as well—super friendly, supportive, knowledgeable, and incredibly conscientious people.

“Considering the circumstances, I can still say it was a pleasure to be at Hartford Hospital,” continues David. “I was very impressed with the quality of care. From the cardiology perspective, the hospital is on the cutting edge, and I felt that the service they provided was excellent.”

In appreciation for the high level of care and support he received, both during his hospital stay and follow-up appointments, David decided to make a significant gift in support of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital.

“I felt strongly that we should support the organization, cardiology’s research, and other patients and families who will need their help,” says David. “I have certainly seen plenty of evidence of what Hartford Hospital provides to this region—it’s a real pillar in the community.”

“It is wonderful that David was so pleased with the level of care he and his wife received that he decided to pay it forward through philanthropic support for our tremendous cardiology team and their patients,” said Lynn B. Rossini, vice president of Philanthropy at Hartford Hospital. “We are very happy that David is now doing well—and we thank him and his family for their gift and for sharing the story of their excellent Hartford Hospital experience.”


Hartford Hospital receives elite ranking as best in the nation for complex heart care
In November 2023, Hartford Hospital achieved a perfect score from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons’ (STS) Adult Cardiac Surgery Database―the gold standard and the world’s premier clinical outcomes registry for adult cardiac surgery.