Same neighborhood, same values

Mike Sack and John Saul
Summit members
Invest in the Swedish Fund for Excellence

When Mike Sack and his husband, novelist John Saul, moved into their new apartment on Seattle’s First Hill, they joked about the benefits of living next-door to Swedish. “We’d say it was a great place to grow old together,” remembers Mike, chuckling. Little did they understand just how much Mike would one day rely on the care they found right across the street.

Mike and John do everything together, including collaborating on all of John’s 37 bestselling thrillers. With Mike outlining stories and John writing, they work best as a team. That’s why they give to Swedish, where they’ve found care that supports them as a couple.  

That’s not been Mike’s experience with other hospitals. When he and John first lived together in the Midwest, a trip to the emergency department became an ordeal neither has forgotten.

“John wasn’t allowed to see me,” says Mike, his warm voice trailing off with the memory. Without the support of his partner, Mike says he was alone and dependent on care from a hospital where he didn’t feel respected.

After moving to Seattle 34 years ago and facing prostate surgery, he was thankful that his experience at Swedish was different. “I’m glad I was able to get a private room so I could feel comfortable showing my husband affection,” says Mike. With John at his side, Mike had the support—and respect—he needed to focus on his recovery.

Now Mike is being treated at the Swedish Organ Transplant and Liver Center for kidney disease while he awaits a new kidney.

“I want to help the people who take care of me.” –Mike

He speaks highly of the collaborative care he has received from our doctors and nurses. “It’s a team operation,” says Mike. “Everyone works together.” He previously worked as a clinical psychologist on a multidisciplinary team, so he appreciates seeing his care team embracing that approach.

Mike feels confident in the guidance he’s received from his caregivers. “The nurses take the time to explain everything,” Mike says. “There’s no rush.” He speaks fondly of all who have cared for him; appreciative of their compassion and the time they spend with him to make sure his treatment and recovery will go as well as possible.

With all the great care, Mike and John wanted to make a gift to support the doctors and nurses who made a difference for him. “I think of it as an obligation to support those who have taken care of me,” he says. “They’re doing important work, and I want to help.” Mike and John show their appreciation by making annual cash gifts to the Swedish Fund for Excellence.

Mike has spent a lot of time getting to know the different buildings at our Swedish First Hill campus, having taken many walks through the neighborhood while recovering from surgery.

And he has always felt welcome.

Thanks to supporters like Mike and John—and you—our patients have access to innovative health care and hope for a healthier tomorrow. To learn more about how your gift brings life-changing organ care to our patients or to make a cash gift to Swedish, contact Philanthropy Officer Duncan Robinson at 206-386-3527 or [email protected].