‘Don’t take your health for granted’

Everett Jackson was only 52 when he had a heart attack.

It started one evening when he wasn’t feeling quite right. Then dinner didn’t taste right. Then he vomited and started sweating. He assumed it was just indigestion, but his wife took one look at him and announced they were going to the hospital.

Everett Jackson

After arriving at the ER at White Rock Medical Center, he learned the problem was actually his heart.

It was a shock. Jackson played sports all his life and was in good health.

“It felt out of the blue. Next thing I knew they were prepping me for emergency surgery,” he says.

Since then, Jackson has had different medical interventions, including a stent, defibrillator and eventually a heart transplant in July 2021.

He continues in the cardiac rehab program at White Rock Medical Center for medically supervised exercise program to keep his body and new heart going strong.

“Don’t take your health for granted. You know your body best. If something doesn’t feel right, then something is probably not right,” he advises.

Jackson also walks for exercise, gets regular doctor checkups, drinks water and chooses healthy meals with veggies. “Lots and lots of salad,” he adds.

Jackson is a behavioral interventionist in Garland ISD. At six feet, seven inches, he’s known as “Big E” – and now his nurses and providers call him “Superman” because of his journey back to health.

“You know how men are. We are stubborn and don’t like to see doctors,” he laughs. “But if I hadn’t come to the hospital, I would have been gone in the next two weeks. Don’t put it off. If you have any pain or something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out.”

And find your purpose, he adds. “Everything I’m doing is for my grandkids.”