The Ghosh Center’s patient focus is more than just a process or collection of appointments and treatments.

Sam Martin

All Heart

Many of you know Sam Martin by his huge grin and high spirits. His mom is Mindy Martin, nurse practitioner at The Ghosh Center. Sam and his whole family – parents Mindy and Chad; siblings Raegan, Kate and Jake – are special to us for many reasons. They’re a close-knit family that lives and loves fully, especially when they rally around Sam and his health issues.

Sam in the Spotlight

You last read about Sam in May, when Raegan shared her story of taking him to her senior prom: The Perfect Prom Date. Now Sam’s in the spotlight again as this year’s Cedar Rapids Ambassador to the Heart Ball held last Saturday at the Hotel at Kirkwood.

Sam and a roomful of supporters gathered for a festive evening that raised funds for The American Heart Association. For each donation, the Martin family handed out bottles of hot sauce and spicy chocolate bars accompanied by a note from Sam.

A Story of Strength

The Martin family shared Sam’s story in this beautiful video.

Cedar Rapids Ambassador

Participants also learned about Sam through the following introduction in the evening’s program.

Sam Martin was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which the left side of the heart is severely undeveloped and unable to support circulation. He had three heart surgeries by the time he was three years old.

Sam was doing really well until last summer. He developed protein-losing enteropathy, a rare long-term complication from his last heart surgery. He had a few hospital stays in 2017 and 2018 for this complication. In addition, Sam has sick sinus syndrome, requiring surgery last June for an epicardial pacemaker. That’s all the medical jargon about Sam.

That isn’t all who he is. Sam has a smile that lights up any room, and he loves life. Here are all the things you need to know about Sam! He:

  • Loves meeting people, and those who meet him are changed for the better.
  • Is a diehard Hawkeye and Team USA wrestling fan and tries to never miss a meet. He can hold his own talking about wrestling with the best of them.
  • Loves the St. Louis Cardinals and hopes to visit every baseball stadium in the U.S.
  • Recently started watching hockey and has already determined the Chicago Blackhawks are his favorite team.
  • Loves being outside riding his bike, rollerblading, snowboarding, shooting hoops and playing bags (he’s really good and super-competitive).
  • Loves spicy food and challenging those around him to eat something spicy (don’t take him up on this; he will beat you).
  • Is in 8th grade at Mount Vernon Community Schools.

A Song from Raegan


The evening was capped off by Raegan performing a song she wrote about Sam when she was twelve. It was a remarkable tribute to an amazing young man and a perfect expression of the love they share.

Why Him?

Family gathered around him
Helping us through times of hardship
We thought he would see Jesus, but no he lived

God why did you have to put him through this
Why does he have to keep strugglin’
I know You created a miracle, but
Why, why, why him

He’s older now, lives like nothin’ happened
All the prayers and crying
Prayers to God asking for a favor
Oh, oh, He did

God why did you have to put him through this
Why does he have to keep strugglin’
I know You created a miracle, but
Why, why, why him

God, why him
Why do we keep wonderin’
God end his sufferin’
Throughout his life, we’ll keep wonderin’

God why did you have to put him through this
Why does he have to keep strugglin’
I know You created a miracle, but
Why, why, why him

Big Fan Base

So many people celebrated Sam Saturday night – family, friends, neighbors and his wonderful cardiologist, Dr. Mark Zittergruen. And of course, his second family from The Ghosh Center. It was our privilege to be part of Sam’s big night.

One Comment

  • Ashley Pirsig, American Heart Association says:
    What an amazing tribute to a truly exceptional heart hero! So grateful for the opportunity to shine on a light on Sam and the incredible Martin family and for the amazing amount of love in generosity in the room. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *