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Heart failure leads to heart healthy restaurant

Posted at 9:39 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 23:20:07-05

A Milwaukee man took a diagnosis of death and turned it into a new opportunity with the help of technology.

Tyrone Morris was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2016 and days away from being placed in Hospice when he got a second lease on life in the form of a heart pump. Morris had the Abbot Heartmate 3 installed in his chest, keeping his heart beating strong while he's on the wait list for a heart transplant.

"That pump does all the work for my heart, my heart is only working 10-percent. I don’t get tired no more I can walk I can run on the treadmill this device is amazing," Morris said.

The diagnoses and heart pump also prompted Morris to change his lifestyle. Morris learned to cook while growing up and he turned that into a profession. He opened a restaurant called Big Country BBQ on Brown Deer Road and watches his diet. Part of that is passed on to his customers.

"When I eat salt on any of my food my heart races, it's getting happy. And then I get thirsty and have to drink a lot of water and that’s bad because now I got fluid built up in my chest and I’m back in the ER" said Morris.

The pump runs on batteries, and Tyrone always keeps spares nearby. At night he plugs into an electrical outlet. Recently he pondred the process of using the pump.

"Do you want to live the rest of your life with batteries plugging into an electrical outlet?" Morris asked himself. "You have to be mindstrong and willing to accept the good with the bad. And I have accepted that if I didn’t get a heart I can live my life happily with the Ab-vad pump."

Morris is on the waiting list for a heart transplant, a process that can take years or never happen. But that doesn't slow Morris down.

"I believe in my heart that eventually I will get a heart. People in front of me, some of them need it before I do. I’m happy because I am still able to do for my kids, my grandkids, be a man of my household" he said.

Tyrone Morris Heart Healthy Tips

1) Instead of Garlic Salt, use garlic powder.

2) Rub For meat: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Pepper, Mrs. Dash, brown sugar.

3) Bake or grill your food. Do not fry.

4) Only use fresh not frozen or canned ingredients. (Canned foods have a lot of sodium).

Big Country BBQ
8665 W. Brown Deer Rd