Common Sense

Cavuto: I might have the scar, but you showed heart

Neil reflects on his heart surgery, one year later


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 31, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Ok, back to me.

And this is a special day for me.

A year ago today, around this very time, in fact, I was in a heart surgeon's office.

And let's just say Lenox Hill Hospital's Jacob Scheinerman wasn't mincing words.

"You're a walking time bomb," he said. A routine stress test revealed I had something akin to the widow-maker a condition so dicey, and coronary arteries so blocked, that at any moment I could just drop dead.

Boom. Just like that.

Problem was they couldn't move just like that. I still had MS, and they had to balance getting me off all the stuff I was taking for that before even attempting the triple-bypass to address this very scary situation at a very scary time. And the surgery and recuperation from it got even scarier.

And that doesn't even include all the drama that was just starting at this place soon afterwards.

Talk about heart-palpitating.

Some of you might recall I missed a few days of work. Ok, maybe a more than a few days. Ok, maybe a few weeks. Okay, okay the whole summer!

I guess what strikes me now a year later is how out of it i was.

Not just out of commission. Out of everyday life. Out of the issues and news I had taken for granted, I would always be covering in life.

I discovered something during that tumultuous election summer.

Life was going on. The news was going on. The Republican Convention. The Democratic Convention.

Even the stuff here at Fox. They were all going on.

Just without me.

And yes, it humbled me. Imagine that watching from afar a fast-moving world from which I seemed very far. And very disconnected. And for which my absence seemed very inconsequential.

They say the graveyard is filled with people who once thought themselves indispensable.

Take it from me, those who get very close to that graveyard can be irreconcilable. I could not fathom a world going on without me. But it did.

Or TV viewers sorting the day's events without my incredible insights. But they did.

So much I had taken for granted.

Until I joined what my friend Jack Welch called, "The Zipper Club."

That band of brothers and sisters defined by the garish scar on their chest, that covers the repaired heart beneath.

I had taken all of that for granted.

Just like I had taken breathing for granted.

And just moving through life for granted.

And yes, living for granted.

It's trite to say now, disease of any sort brings you back to earth.

Maybe because it reminds you of the relatively short time we have on earth.

An earth that moves on even when we stop.

But sometimes stops to check in, even when we hurt.

That's where a lot of you came in.

I will never, ever forget all the cards and letters, packages and kind words from so many of you.

People I never met. But whose decency and simple decency I will never forget.

I remember hearing from a man about my age who said he too had open heart surgery.

He wrote, "Cavuto, I for one am looking forward to your first day back responding to those viewers who will no doubt they were surprised you even had a heart."

"Laugh at them," he said. "But laugh. Just laugh."

And so I did. Because he was right. I got lots of mail like that.

And I haven't stopped laughing.

I guess because a year ago today, I seriously doubted I would get the chance.

But I did.

Because of a surgeon like Jacob Scheinerman who wouldn't quit.

And because of many of you, who wouldn't let me quit.

Truth be told, I’m not really a financial hero. Although this illustration is built to scale.

You just make me feel like one.

So I think that makes you all super heroes as well. Because I might have the scar.

But you were the ones who showed heart.

It's not just that you welcomed me back.

It's that you refused to let me leave.

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