TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas couple is donating $18,000,000 to help build Tyler's first heart hospital.
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics claim it is the largest private donation ever to a medical facility in East Texas.
Hospital directors say their goal is to make this facility a benchmark for others in the nation.
The heart hospital will be built in two phases. The first phase is already under construction in the Ornelas Tower and is scheduled to open in December.
The $18,000,000 donation made by Louis and Peaches Owen will be used to build the second phase of the project.
Hospital officials say the Louis and Peaches Owen hospital will be seven stories tall.
It will specialize in the care of patients with heart, vascular and chest disease. The Owens said they made this contribution after Peaches received a quadruple bypass in 2001.
"We want this to become a major, major heart hospital, and the best in the country," said Peaches Owens. "We are hoping to make this a destination facility for patients who need heart care in East Texas and the nation for that matter."
Hospital directors say what sets this heart hospital apart from others is its universal bed concept.
This means patients stay in their room their entire hospital stay and the level of care adjusts according to their need.
Hospital directors say the Louis and Peaches Owen hospital will take about a year and a half to build.