'They saved my life': Man who spent months in the hospital gets Thanksgiving surprise from care team

"My face hurts from smiling so much. I love those ladies. They are my angels."


It was a Thanksgiving surprise for a man who spent months in the hospital after being homeless.

Doctors from Pittsburgh's UPMC McKeesport hospital delivered a Thanksgiving meal at Mack Simmons' new home on Tuesday.

Simmons refers to his care team as angels.

"They saved my life and they helped me get this place. They are amazing," Simmons said.

"Mack is a very kindhearted person and that automatically transpired in his interactions with us, and he basically wrapped all of us around his finger," said Dr. Fanny Alie-Cusson, a vascular surgeon at UPMC.

Mack's come a long way. At this time last year, he was homeless in Washington, D.C., and in so much pain, he couldn't work.

"I had to use a cane. I could only walk a few feet before my legs would give out on me ... I would take ten steps, and it felt like I ran a marathon," Simmons said.

That's when he got a call from a friend in Pittsburgh.

"He said, 'what you are homeless?' I said, 'yeah, me and my son spent the night in my car,'" Simmons said.

That's when Mack and his son decided to make the move, but his health only got worse

"On my birthday Feb. 5, my whole body seized up on me to where I couldn't move," Simmons said.

Mack was rushed to UPMC McKeesport where he finally got an answer.

"It looks like you have a blockage in your aorta. I said, what does that mean? She said simply that means there is no blood going to your legs," Simmons said.

For months, Simmons was in and out of the hospital. His doctors got him into a homeless shelter in June. By October, they helped him find a permanent home.

"They said we put way too much work into you to have you go back to a place like that," Simmons said.

"He is extremely resilient. Mack has been through a lot. More than most people should ever be in their lifetime," Alie-Cusson said.

Mack said it's still hard to believe his life right now, but he feels extremely blessed this Thanksgiving.

"I am just all smiles today. They taught me that anything is possible ... to come here and to just have everything turn around for me the way that it has … it's amazing," Simmons said.

Eat'n Park donated the Thanksgiving meal for Mack and his son John, along with an Eat'n Park gift card.