Tansukh Ganatra spent his career in technology. But as he approached retirement, he began searching for a way to make a difference in people’s lives beyond the business world.

Ganatra, co-founder of US LEC, a successful telecommunications company headquartered in Charlotte, set up a tour of Levine Children’s Hospital along with his wife, Sarla, and their son, Rajesh.

Many times, people donate to charities because of a personal connection in their lives. Maybe they know somebody who battled a disease and want to honor them, or maybe they appreciate the care they received and want to ensure that help is available to others.

With the Ganatras, though, they simply decided to give after taking a 2008 tour of LCH’s high-tech intensive care units, speaking with the experienced and caring nursing staff and spending time with some of the tiny infants receiving treatment. They decided to plan their giving, a popular way to make a difference as people approach the end of their working lives.

For them, the connection was the technology – and the desire to leave a legacy to their community.

“We came to this country with nothing, and we will leave this world with nothing, other than our legacy,” Ganatra says. “We believe that giving to others is the right way to go.”

The Ganatras immediately lent their support, through a gift of $250,000, for the purchase of LCH’s first 3D Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram, which provides a three-dimensional view of the heart. The equipment enables cardiologists and surgeons to better diagnose heart defects and irregularities.

After providing this generous gift to address a critical need at LCH, the Ganatras took another giant philanthropic step in 2009 to sustain the future of Pediatric Cardiac Services at LCH. Besides making an additional $170,000 contribution to LCH, they also pledged a significant portion of their substantial family estate, carefully planned through several charitable trusts and a family foundation, to provide endowed annual support for LCH’s renowned pediatric cardiac programs. In 2010, they stepped forward again, with a $100,000 gift, made in their honor by PAETEC (which merged with US LEC in 2007). The donation will upgrade LCH’s ECMO pump systems, which help pump blood in young children with heart conditions.

The Ganatras’ gifts will indeed benefit infants and children with a range of congenital heart defects – from heart murmurs and benign chest pain, to patients with complex structural heart disease.

“As we continue to expand our cardiovascular program, it is important to bring in new and evolving technologies to assist in the understanding of congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Leonard Feld, the Sara H. and Howard C. Bissell Endowed Chair of Pediatrics at Levine Children’s Hospital.

The Ganatra family’s extraordinary philanthropy is delivering important equipment to LCH’s cardiologists and lasting hope to the children of the Carolinas in need of heart treatment and care.

They saw a need and did what they could to help. Won’t you?