It is empowering to see women spread awareness and knowledge of this disease that affects so many lives every year. Encouraging women to know their risks of heart disease and taking action to live healthier lives is the very first step to beating this disease.
My grandfather was an incredible man that I have been blessed with to have had made such an impact in my life.
Dale Cosgrove was born on February 22, 1931 on a large dairy farm in Enon Valley, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a very small country town Dale and his older brother, James, went to school in a one room school house from 1st - 12th grade. After finishing high school at 18 most of the young men his age joined the military. During that time period the military was very well respected and considered an honorable service to all Americans. Dale joined the military in 1949 serving in the Military Police for the United States Amy stationed in Germany during the Korean War. After his service from 1949 to 1953 he came home to the states to begin a life for himself.
He married my Grandmother, Margaret Cosgrove on November 6, 1955. Two years later on June 5, 1957 they had a little girl, my mother, Barbara Ann Cosgrove.
They lived on a 60 acre farm in Enon Valley, PA. Dale had a true love for farming, but couldn’t make ends meet just farming, so he farmed part time and worked full time as a foreman for B & W Steel Mill. Their farm was like a picture from the silver screen, it was absolutely beautiful! Following a long dirt country road perfectly lined with rows of over 100 peach and apple trees. At the end of the dirt road there was a large farm house with a barn where they raised mainly cattle and pigs. Outside of the barn my grandmother had a small chicken coop with chickens and little chick-lets. They had a wide open field where they harvested acres of corn and large amounts of produce.
My Grandparents divorced in 1975, when my mother was 18 after graduating from high school and beginning her college education at Edinboro University in Edinboro, PA.
Dale had always continued to live a healthy active life style. He never gave up farming. As a young girl I remember going to his farm during the summer’s picking peaches and apples, harvesting produce and plowing the fields on his pride and joy, Farmall tractors. He loved to share his passion and knowledge of farming it was something that was instilled in Dale, it was his life.
December of 2001, was the beginning of his very first of three heart attacks he had with in a 5 month time period. His heart was flatlined and he was brought back to life and recovery, surviving his first, second, and third sequence of heart attacks.
This event in my life hit me like a shock to my very own heart. It was hard for me to watch and see how this disease took over his life, because if you knew my Grandfather or had seen him the way I did he was a very healthy and good looking man.
It wasn’t until after his second heart attack, his doctor had placed a stent within the chambers of his heart to prevent any plaque blockage from clogging the artery’s of his heart. The stent was meant to stay in the artery permanently holding the artery open, improving the blood flow to the heart, except the stent that was placed in the chambers of his heart collapsed.
Obviously, God wasn’t ready to take him into heavens gates, he gave my Grandfather more time to spend with us here on earth. And I believe that was my Grandfather’s last wish.
It was by his third heart attack his heart went into failure. He was put on dobutamine, which is used in treatment of acute heart failure, or cardiogenic shock. The dobutamine kept his heart beating. His heart was only beating at 20% of a normal heart beat. Eventually, his heart would not be strong enough to keep him alive... My Grandfather passed away on April 26, 2002, at the age of 72.