OCALA, Florida. – An Ocala man thanked a medical team carrying out his operation by offering them free meals.
Jay Cowart wanted to show his appreciation to the team at Advent Health Ocala behind his open heart surgery in a very special way.
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“We have our brisket here – everything is ready until they come out,” Cowart said, showing the platters of brisket, chicken, Buffalo chicken and macaroni and cheese he had prepared.
Twelve weeks after undergoing open-heart surgery, Cowart and his wife, Tammy, drove their “Sweet Baby Cheeses” food truck to Advent Health Hospital in Ocala, where they served dozens of meals to nurses, to doctors and staff as a token. of appreciation for the care they gave him after his operation.
“They made it very comfortable. They made me feel safe, and that’s one of the main things when you’re trying to recover or have surgery,” Cowart said. “I told them (that) when I get better, I’ll come back and feed you guys.”
Three months later, he kept his word; Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. James Lonquist performed the coronary bypass on Cowart. The procedure involves redirecting blood flow to a section of blocked heart arteries.
“I’m so privileged to be part of a really great team that took care of him,” Lonquist said. “It was like seeing an old friend again. We exchanged hugs and talked about how well he was.
Cowart, 59, recalled that it was February when he had chest pains.
“I knew something was going on, but how bad it was or what it was, I didn’t quite know,” he said.
Not feeling well, he says he went to see his doctor, who performed a stress test.
“The first few minutes of the stress test, basically, they realized some abnormalities and they called an ambulance,” Cowart said.
After he arrived in the emergency room, doctors performed a catheterization which revealed that his heart arteries were blocked.
Dr. Lonquist said Cowart has shown he is ahead of his recovery schedule.
“He was back to normal in about three weeks. It’s really heartwarming to see him do so well,” Lonquist said.
Now that Cowart is on the verge of a full recovery, he said he will be forever grateful to the team at Advent Health in Ocala.
“Thank you. Thank you for restoring my health and thank you for allowing me to get back on my feet and work. Healing takes a bit of time, but the general feeling of getting back on my feet – there is nothing such,” he said.
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