Freida Watson

Until last year, Freida Watson - grandmother to six and great grandmother to five - considered herself in pretty good health for a 77-year-old who had never really had any serious health problems. But last year, doctors began to worry about her climbing blood pressure and growing arrhythmia.

"I was placed on a blood thinner, but apparently it wasn't doing enough," recalls Freida. "I didn't really even think there was anything major wrong with my heart because I was able to do everything and didn't feel bad at all." But when her primary care physician referred her to Ocala Health cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Omeni Osian, she began to worry a bit more. Dr. Osian's office started more in depth testing on Freida's heart and found she was in need of a fairly extensive operation.

"It turned out that I needed two heart valves replaced, and also a benign growth removed from my heart," Freida said. "In fact, the doctor told me it was a difficult surgery and they hadn't had anything like it there before. I just felt very lucky that I got to Dr. Osian in time to fix it."

Freida underwent surgery to have valves replaced anda benign growth removed, and was in the hospital for several days afterwards. When she left the hospital, she was treated in a rehab facility for a month and then was allowed to go home under the care of her three daughters.

They took turns staying with their mother and caring for her during her recovery.

"I had no idea my heart was in the condition it was apparently in, and I feel like I owe Dr. Osian and his staff my whole life. They were just excellent in every way, and so was everyone in the hospital. I couldn't have asked for better care."

Freida now keeps busy with her family and her part time job at Publix. She gathers with her family as often as possible and even likes to go camping occasionally.

"I'm grateful that I get to be with my family longer. I owe that to Dr. Osian and Ocala Health."