Jim Frost, well-known local businessman, entrepreneur and community leader has bequeathed $2 million from his Foundation to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. The bequest was made in honor of his granddaughter, whose life was saved at Chattanooga’s only pediatric hospital 12 years ago.
Mr. Frost, president and owner of Frost Cutlery, which has grown into a multi-million dollar business empire over the past 40 years, met with Children’s Hospital officials this month to announce his $2 million bequest to the hospital.
Mr. Frost’s granddaughter, Alexis Frost, almost lost her life at the age of 15 following a massive cardiac arrest on Mother’s Day 2005. The teenager’s heart had gone into ventricular fibrillation, an extremely dangerous condition that can lead to sudden cardiac death. Following her 13-day stay in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and patient care floor at Children’s Hospital, Alexis returned home with her heart back to its normal size and completely healed - which many considered a medical miracle at the time.
Thanks to the critical care team and staff at Children’s Hospital, Alexis made a full recovery and was honored as one of the hospital’s “2005 Miracle Kids.” During the Children’s Hospital’s annual “Miracle Kids” recognition event and tree-lighting ceremony, Alexis told the crowd, “I thank God every day for allowing me to live, and don’t take anything for granted. At such a young age, I’ve experienced a life-changing experience most people can’t say they have.”
Mr. Frost recently met with Erlanger representatives to formalize the agreement bequeathing the multi-million dollar gift.
“Jim is truly an example of Chattanooga’s remarkable corporate leadership and the importance to ‘pay it forward’,” said Mary Rustic, director of Major and Planned Giving at Erlanger. “His extremely generous and unexpected gift will be a transformational one for Children’s Hospital and we cannot thank him enough.”
Mr. Frost is known throughout Chattanooga community for his passion in helping student athletes and the youth of this community. He was the visionary and organizer for the construction of a seven-field sports facility known as Tyner Recreation Complex. In 1998 he spearheaded the construction of a world-class softball facility, Jim Frost Stadium, at Warner Park – which is now home to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Lady Mocs. Through Mr. Frost’s generosity, Chattanooga has been recognized as the “capital” of girl’s fast-pitch softball in the Eastern United States.
Of his latest contribution to Children’s Hospital, Mr. Frost told Erlanger officials that he has always believed, “We are given just one life to live and what we do with it is up to us,” adding that he hoped this latest gift “will help improve and save the lives of many more children in the years to come.”
Alexis Frost, who now lives and works in New York, returned to Chattanooga recently to visit the construction site of the new Children’s Outpatient Center with her grandfather and father Stephen Frost. “I will always be grateful to the staff at Children’s for saving my life 12 years ago, and now to my grandfather for what he has done to carry on his legacy of impacting the lives of even more young people with this donation,” she said.