View Full Version : Fellow Haunter and Friend to have open heart surgery.

01-01-2009, 09:56 AM
This is a re-post from the Haunted Attraction Magazine forum.

"I just got a phone call from Tim “Timmer” Gavinski, who owns and operates The Wisconsin Fear Grounds with his wife and partner Ann Marie Gavinski. I am sure you know these great Haunters; if not by name by sight or reputation. Tim is the sitting President of the IAHA and together the two have been at every HAuNTcon and several other gatherings, offering seminars on business and marketing.

Tim informed me that just before Christmas, Ann Marie had a seizure. After a battery of tests and several days in the hospital, the doctors discovered a heart problem that formed a blood clot. The clot came lose, made its way into her brain causing a minor stroke.

While devastating news, there is a silver lining; had this stroke not occurred the heart problem would not have been detected and would have shorted Ann Marie’s life. Ann Marie is at home now and doing as well as can be expected. She has regained motor function and feeling to most of the effected area and is scheduled for open heart surgery next week to fix the heart problem.

I am sure that I join the rest of you in wishing Ann Marie great success with the surgery and a speedy recovery. I am sure she would appreciate a phone call or an email to bolster her spirits and to let her know just how important she is to you and to the industry. If you don’t have her email address, it is amtfear4u@aol.com.


You are in our hearts, prayers, and thoughts and I wish you the best for a safe and speedy recovery Anne Marie, this is definitely something that puts your life, family, and feelings into perspective.

All my best and I look forward to talking to you soon - Tattoo

01-01-2009, 10:26 AM
Tim, Not sure if you are going to be on the boards, but just again, want to offer you my prayers and best wishes to you and Ann Marie. Love you!!


Jolly Pumpkin
01-01-2009, 10:50 AM
When I was a small child I was very weak and eventually had a stroke one day. When I was taken to the hospital it was discovered that I had a major defect in my heart. I would soon have to have open heart surgery at the young age of five. I was scared, angry at the world and didn't understand why my parents would put me through this pain. It was the 80's so technology wasn't as advanced and the recovery time wasn't as good. Days passed and it was time for me to go through surgery. It was a long surgery, but I made it through with flying colors at a time when open heart surgery wasn't as common.

During that time I missed Halloween, but thankfully they had a Halloween party in the hospital for all the sick kids and that's where I discovered my love for Halloween, horror and beyond. I would stay in the hospital for weeks to recover, but was eventually released. Upon my release I was surprised to find out that the entire neighborhood was ready for my arrival and that night they celebrated Halloween for one small 5 year old boy. I walked the sidewalks that night as each and every neighbor handed out candy as if it was Halloween night in late November.

It's an experience I will never forget and something that truly changed my life. I was never the same after surgery. I had different tastes in food and was quieter. I appreciated life more and I know it will be the same for Ann. During my surgery I had an out of body experience where I could see myself lying on the hospital table. It may have been a dream while I was having surgery, but who knows. At 49 my Dad would also I have open heart surgery so I guess it runs in the family. I know that Ann will get through this because if I can anyone can.

01-01-2009, 11:19 AM
My thoughts are with you. Shane

Raycliff Manor
01-01-2009, 12:19 PM
Ann Marie and Timmer, positive thoughts, energy and prayers are going out to you! May you find strength going through this and emerge from the experience celebrating a triumphant recovery combined with a new found closeness and appreciation for one another and for the family and friends who demonstrate their love and support.


Boo Crew Production
01-01-2009, 12:43 PM
Timmer and Ann Marie,

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Fortunately they found the problem and have remedied it. We look forward to seeing both of you at MHC if not before.

Ann Marie, Get well soon!

01-01-2009, 01:43 PM
Sorry to read that news, but all sounds encouraging now!
Good luck & get well soon!!

01-05-2009, 08:29 AM
Heath and healing thoughs, vibes, prayers and what-have-you's from RI coming their way!
We've crossed paths at the MHC and both are wonderful people.

~ Lori

screamline studios
01-05-2009, 08:22 PM
This post has been very hard on me since it was posted, and i have been delaying it because it brings tears to my eyes when i think about it. Ann marie is one of the most caring and loving people in the haunt indusrty and my hat and head hair come off to her!!!!! Some things in life are never fair, and in such a good person it makes it even worse, my everything is into a healthy recovery and a tomarrow that brings promise, goodness, and a long future in the haunted house community. I care so much about you and timmer and i cannot imagine my life in haunt indusrty and as a friend without you..

With love,


P.S If you need anything just give me or val a call , we will always be there for you....

P.S My only problem is i hope you read this!!!!

01-08-2009, 08:47 AM
I just wanted to post an update.

Ann Marie had surgery this morning and everything went well! She will continue to recover in an Intensive Care Unit and then continue her recovery for the next 10 - 12 weeks. I know the support from everyone means a lot to Ann Marie and Timmer, so thank you to everyone who contacted her to let her know you care.

Here's to a continuing safe and speedy recovery.

Take care,


01-08-2009, 09:14 AM
That is awesome news! Good luck on a speedy recovery!

01-08-2009, 04:30 PM

Thanks so much for the update!!

01-08-2009, 10:26 PM
Thanks Tattoo

keep us posted on how she is doing...Its been on my mind since I found out

01-10-2009, 09:40 PM
Wow - just read this. Wishes to Anne Marie for a speedy recovery!