Owner of Tommy's Country Ham House talks openly about heart, bra - FOX Carolina 21

Owner of Tommy's Country Ham House talks openly about heart, brain surgery after November health scare

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Owner of Tommy's Country Ham House, Tommy Stevenson, opens up about health scare (FOX Carolina: 1/18/2018). Owner of Tommy's Country Ham House, Tommy Stevenson, opens up about health scare (FOX Carolina: 1/18/2018).
Just two days after getting a pacemaker installed, the owner of Tommy's Country Ham House and Furman graduate, cheered on the Paladins at home (FOX Carolina: 1/18/2018). Just two days after getting a pacemaker installed, the owner of Tommy's Country Ham House and Furman graduate, cheered on the Paladins at home (FOX Carolina: 1/18/2018).
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

If you take one look at the front wall inside Tommy's Country Ham House, you can see the owner, Tommy Stevenson, has met some pretty important people. But, ask him yourself, and Stevenson will tell you that it's the people who come into his restaurant every day, that were on his mind when he went through a health scare back in November.

"Only thing I was worried about was my customers and employees at the Ham House. I wasn't worried about how I felt, I missed my work and my friends," said Stevenson. 

Stevenson said he collapsed while eating pizza with his family and had to undergo surgery at Bon Secours St. Francis to get a pacemaker put in. The surgery happened on a Thursday and on that following Saturday, the Furman graduate cheered on the Paladins at home.

"I couldn't stay the whole game, I got real tired but I went," said Stevenson.

Two weeks later, Stevenson experienced a second scare.

"I was kind of walking around in a coma, I didn't know what was going on... Thank goodness to a couple highway patrolmen and my employees called EMS to come get me and I wouldn't go to the hospital with EMS, but the patrolmen talked me into going," said Stevenson.

Stevenson said bleeding on his brain landed him in surgery again to relieve the pressure.

"I've never been sick. I was here 32 years and never missed a day until this happened. It was quite a blow to me," said Stevenson.

Stevenson said the outpouring of love and support from the community, including the handmade cards from students near and dear to him at the Washington Center, really helped bring him back up.

"Oh it's unreal, it's unreal," said Stevenson. 

It's probably pretty unreal to the people who frequent Tommy's that a little more than 3 months after two major surgeries, Stevenson is pretty much back in full force.

"I did slow down some, but I'm back to normal now as far as my work ethics. I get here at 3:30 in the morning and work into 2:00pm every day," said Stevenson.

The 76-year-old said he hopes he's got many more good years left and ask him whether he plans to slow down, and he'll tell you 'not yet'.

"I enjoy my work. I enjoy what I have. It's 32 years of hard work and enjoyment," said Stevenson.

Stevenson also said he's so thankful for his wife, four children and 11 grandchildren for their endless support, especially through this tough time.

He said his last check up was great and he's got another one to check on his heart next month. 

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