Michiana man giving back to the doctors who saved his life

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OSCEOLA, Ind. - During these hard times, it’s important to highlight some of the good things community members are doing to help those on the front lines of the pandemic.

ABC57 spoke to one man who had a heart attack, recovered, and now wants to give back to the doctors who helped him.

“I was sitting here in the living room just watching some television and my left arm got to hurting real bad. I felt a little light-headed. I knew something wasn’t right,” Jim Norris said.

When Jim Norris started losing strength in his legs, he knew he had to get to the hospital.

“I was literally fighting for my life that night,” he said.

Rushed straight to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Norris later found out that he actually had a heart attack.

“It was very frightening. Very scary,” he said.

Doctors there helped him recover and now he wants to give back.

“I told all of them that night when I was there, I said ‘you are all hero’s’ every one,” Norris said. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them. So I called the hospital back and said I would like to do something for them.”

Medical staff put Norris in contact with Papa Vinos to get involved with their Feeding the Frontline initiative.

“Anybody can go on our website and donate through there, through PayPal a secure donation through there. Every $5 donation feeds one healthcare professional,” Kelli Stopczynski, the Director of Marketing at Quality Dining who owns and operates Papa Vinos said.

They are partnering with area hospitals to bring food down to healthcare workers on the frontline of this pandemic.

“Everything is different in the hospital now. We don’t have that same access to food, that same access to going in and out of the hospital that we had before and we really are trying to limit our exposure to the rest of the community too because we are people at highest risk of passing this around,” Zachary Leschin, the Division Chair of Cardiology at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center said. “So having food brought in for the staff is very appreciated.”

“It really could be that meal that’s just a little bit of inspiration who’s already spread so thin,” Stopczynski said.

“It means the world to me to be able to do that,” Norris said. “They literally saved my life that Thursday night. I wouldn’t be here right now if they hadn’t of done what they did and I’m sure thankful for that.”

Norris said he plans on doing this again next week, but instead, he wants to give the food to those in health care working behind the scenes in the administration offices.

If you would like to donate to Papa Vinos Feeding the Frontlines initiative, click here.

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