Pasco firefighters finish lawn work for family after husband's heart attack

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Courtesy: Melissa Ann Work

Pasco County first responders stepped out of their daily duties to help a local family finish their landscaping at a time when they needed it.

Melissa and Gene Work were threatened with a large fine from their homeowners association if they didn’t lay new sod in their front yard by a certain deadline, according to the family.

On Saturday, Gene was laying the sod in their front yard when he started showing symptoms of a heart attack. His wife, Melissa, quickly called for help, but Gene seemed to be solely concerned with finishing the landscaping before the sod died, and avoiding the HOA fine.

"He kept begging me to figure out the sod and have it put down because he didn't want it to go to waste and die," Melissa wrote in a Facebook post. "It's ALL he kept asking about literally during a massive heart attack. LOL. I calmed him and kept saying 'Jesus will help us. It's ok. Jesus will figure this out babe.'"

Gene continued worrying about the sod on the way to the hospital, and the emergency workers treating him took notice. He was working with his brother at the time of his heart attack, so his brother stayed behind to watch their daughter and finish the landscaping job. But it was a feat that would have taken him hours. 

To his surprise, the emergency crew that had left earlier with his brother in an ambulance returned to help finish the job that Gene had started.

"She showed me the picture and said, 'You'll never believe it' and I just started bawling, crying. I couldn't believe that," Gene said. "I didn't think I just had a heart attack. I was just so grateful these first responders would come back and do that."

Pasco County Fire and Rescue shared Melissa's story on their Facebook page writing, “We believe in helping the community whenever we are needed.” Even if that includes a little landscaping. 

Melissa shared images onto her Facebook page showing the firefighters from Station 10 going above and beyond. She said the first responders didn't know her family would be fined by HOA. She said they also didn't know that she would be undergoing a bone marrow transplant next month. 

"They simply saw someone in need, something in need and did this for us. This wasn't in their job description," Melissa wrote. "We have no words. Just sobbing."