BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Walter Owen, 76, is a regular at Houchin Community Blood Bank, donating blood every eight weeks.
But back in October, Walter’s typical day at the Bolthouse donation center went differently.
“When she took my pulse, she said that my heart was skipping too many beats and that I couldn’t donate blood,” said Walter.
That is when Walter called his doctor, who told him to go to urgent care. Following an EKG, Owen was sent to Bakersfield Heart Hospital.
That is when he received the shocking news.
“When he told me that I needed a triple bypass, it was sort of a wow moment, geewiz, wasn’t expecting that,” said Walter.
He received surgery by the end of November. Now, six months later, Walter is healthy and in good spirits.
On Monday, Walter was reunited with Donna Ayers, who had no idea her screening had such an impact.
“It was a little bit emotional, it was very good to be able to see her again and thank her, from the bottom of my bypassed heart,” said Walter.
“Well, I said thank you, you made my day. He said thank you, you made my life. So, that is shocking, the realization that I helped in that way,” said Donna.
Now bonded, Walter and Donna have a new found relationship.
“She saved my life, it feels pretty good,” said Walter.