BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Doctors and nurses go above and beyond every day to save lives but they rarely get a visit from a patient who wants to say “thank you”. Jackie Tlustos is a different kind of patient though and on Tuesday she returned to Gates Vascular Institute to show her appreciation for her physicians.
Tlustos said she’s had a new perspective ever since her near-death experience.
Two years ago she woke up with a headache and soon after was in the hospital where they discovered she was having a stroke and heart attack, due to an undiagnosed heart condition. She needed three brain surgeries.
Tlustos said her doctors went above and beyond during her care so she felt it was important to return and say thank you, even though most people never do.
“They probably want to put that part of their life behind them, and I do in some ways, but this is kind of the end to a long two year course of recovery,” said Tlustos. “So many people stayed late and did way more than they had to for me and I’m here today because of all of those people.”
She also wanted to show her doctors how much progress she’s made. When Tlustos left the hospital she still used a walker and had slurred speech. Now, because of occupational and physical therapy, she told News 4 that she’s back to normal.