Cotton was in the hospital for 11 weeks. Throughout all of the challenges, her faith never wavered. Multiple people visited Cotton every day, including family, friends and the residents from her group home. Brzezicki believes this support played a role in her recovery.
“She had a really nice recovery,” said Brzezicki. “Every time I saw her, she was always smiling. Despite facing challenges throughout the treatment, she kept a positive attitude.”
Cotton recalled that her room was filled with balloons from her daily visitors. She showed her generous spirit by sharing them with staff and other patients to brighten their day.
“I had so many balloons. They started calling me the balloon lady.” she laughed at the memory.
When asked if anything changed following the surgery, Cotton’s daughters joked that she now drives faster. But in truth, they are grateful things were not worse. The odds of her developing a mental or physical disability were high, but Cotton had a full and successful recovery.
Cotton is forever grateful to Dr. Brzezicki and the staff at UF Health Jacksonville for saving her life.
“The whole staff. Every shift of people.” Cotton said. “They were so good. I really want them to know that.”
The 63-year-old still has a youthful energy and passion to help others. Alongside her daughters, they continue to supervise and offer personal support around the clock for the adults who live in the home and provide assisted living services off campus for more independent residents. They are like family to Betty.
“That’s why God had to keep me here,” Cotton smiled. “I’ve got to take care of my people, honey.