Being Healthy! now there's a condition that, until a few weeks ago, I took for granted.
I'm a Customer Service Supervisor in Tampa and thought I had the world by the tail (the tail of a 737-700 that is) until about a month ago. Come to find out most normal people dont feel like an elephant is sitting on their chest after 10 or 15 minutes of exertion. I've been this way all my life and considered it normal and have always vowed to get more exercise and get in better shape one of these days. After 45 years of "normal" life I thought to mention it to my doctor. Whoa boy, that horse started running and all I could do was hold on. I found that I had a coronary artery that wasn't plumbed right and my condition has only been diagnosed one time in an adult who was still alive. Now 3 weeks later I've got 33 staples in my chest and I'm wondering if anyone wrote down the liscense plate number of the 18-wheeler that ran over me.
What makes this a SWA story is, my hospital room was full of gifts and flowers from Southwest employees and work groups. When I got home there was a incredible blanket sent from Colleen Barrett and Gary Kelly telling me to get well soon. My visitors in the hospital were 98% SWA employees. My managers drove 25 miles to come see me, and now three weeks later there hasn't been a day go by that someone from work hasn't called to tell me they miss me.
I've had a lot of jobs in my 45 short years but nothing compares to the sense of "being at home" I get from Southwest. This time I've had to think has given me the opportunity to understand and experience what family truly is. My wife, my kids, my parents and grandparents are all very thankful to know that I've got a lot of great years ahead of me now and we are all sobered by the knowledge that I've been living on borrowed time for many many years. All my family is amazed by the amount of love that has poured from my Southwest family, and as I sit writing this I'm blessed that there hasn't been a moment when I've worried about my job being secure or medical bills or a pay check (all that's covered). It's been Southwest that has allowed me to focus on getting well and focus on being a good husband and father for many years to come.
Call it what you like "Freedoms, benefits, or perks". I call it being blessed with a family that cares. My family is not limited to blood but it includes those who have shared the sweat and tears and victories of being a Southwest Employee. I'm a part of something incredible and I can't wait to get back to work at Southwest Airlines.
From Colleen and Gary to the newest CSA, I want to say Thank You to every Southwest Employee for allowing me to be a part of your family. I've got a tough road ahead but with people like you behind me there's nothing I cant do. When I get back I promise to work hard and ensure the blessings I've come to know personally are secure for each of you. You are the BEST!
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