The patient with the UPS face

Mike D'Auria's life depended on a pacemaker shipped by UPS Healthcare. His partners didn't fail him.

Our Stories – Mike D'Auria

On June 11, 2022, Mike D'Auria's wife found him unconscious on the floor of their New Jersey home. Fighting shock, she rushed him to the emergency room.

The four-year UPS Healthcare operations supervisor who oversees Receiving in Pedricktown, NJ, had a heart problem. The upper and lower ventricles that pump blood through his body had lost their rhythm, a condition that can lead to stroke or heart failure.

Doctors advised Mike that a pacemaker would keep him alive. Unbeknownst to Mike at the time, it would ship - flawlessly and fast - from a UPS Healthcare™ facility in nearby Swedesboro, NJ. Mike and his team often handled packages from the electromedical equipment provider there, shipping them out to faraway patients and places.

This time, the shipment would be close to home.

All in a day's work

Pacemakers are routinely handled and tracked through UPS Healthcare quality systems - even details about who handled each individual one. That's where Nicholas, Autumn, and Shirley - all UPS Healthcare warehouse team members - come in.

  • Nicholas Vassallo created the order that brought the potentially life-saving pacemaker into the UPS Healthcare system.
  • Autumn Morenzetti picked the order.
  • And Shirley Stevenson shipped it.

The day the trio expertly carried out their jobs, they were unaware of Mike's need. But on August 26, that changed with a town hall meeting in the Swedesboro facility.

Facility manager Allen Hastings asked Mike to speak with the UPS Healthcare team - including Nicholas, Autumn, and Shirley. Gratefully, Mike told his story. Under his shirt, he wore the pacemaker that the associates had handled.

"The reason I'm here is because they did their job properly," Mike said to the team. "If they didn't ship the product correctly, people like me are affected."


Nicholas met Mike for the first time at the August event.

"It made our work feel real," Nicholas says. "It was a sobering moment when Mike made that speech. The products we ship can really go anywhere in the world - even one town over - and save lives."

Autumn now works in the same facility with Mike.

"Mind-blowing!" she says. "Knowing that someone so close to us benefits from our work brought a whole new perspective. It's amazing to me that what we do can impact someone's life. It gives me chills."

Shirley felt special meeting Mike in person.

"I always knew that my job meant something," she says, "but seeing Mike and hearing his story really resonated. It brought Quality Focused. Patient Driven™ to life for me. Now I see clearly that it could be anybody - a friend or a family member - helped by that package we send."

Mike, grateful for his new lease on life, spoke emphatically.

"I wanted to share my story with the facility," he said, "so UPSers understand that what we do matters."

"I hope my story helps put a face to our worthwhile work ... and brings it closer to home."

Smiling women

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