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Senior marathoner honors the cardiology team who kept her running

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Last fall when Nanette Rodgers, an 87-year-old woman from Winter Haven, Fla., underwent open heart surgery, she knew she wanted to be able to continue living an active lifestyle – and that she would share her success with the AdventHealth cardiovascular team who helped make her dream become a reality.

Just a few months after her surgery, she visited with board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Kevin D. Accola to recognize his contribution to her ongoing vitality. Rodgers honored Dr. Accola with the gift of her 2023 Celebration Half Marathon finisher’s medal, a race where Rodgers also took home the top prize for her age group.


On behalf of his team, Dr. Accola accepted Rodgers’ medal and noted its significance to their commitment to their patients. “When she reached her arms out and put this [medal] around my neck, my heart jumped. It was a touching moment because any time we see a patient come back after surgery, particularly major surgery, it’s so endearing to the team.”

“I wanted to come in here today to do something special,” said Rodgers. “My life has changed. I wouldn’t be here today without those nurses, without the people who were a part of my hospital experience as well as continuing the hospital experience.”

Rodgers credits her enthusiasm and zest for life to her commitment to living well. She maintains strong relationships with her AdventHealth care team, which also includes Dr. Anil Kumar and Dr. Ahmed Masood who have also received race medals from Rodgers.

87-year-old marathoner honors Dr. Kumar with race medal.
Nanette Rodgers finished first in her age group at the Half Marathon of the Treasure Coast. She honored Dr. Anil Kumar with her finisher's medal.
Nanette Rodgers also honored Dr. Masood with a recent race medal.
Dr. Ahmed Masood was honored to receive Nanette Rodgers' race medal from the Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series.

Rodgers has set a goal to run the Kona Marathon in Hawaii to celebrate her 90th birthday.

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