Keith Mowry, the owner of Bob’s Country Meats in Canyon Country, went into an organ-transplant surgery Friday to save his life after contracting a serious gall bladder infection, damaging his kidneys and liver.
“He goes into surgery in 45 minutes,” BJ Barnes Mowry, Keith’s wife, said Friday. “I have faith. We could have been planning a funeral two weeks ago, but he’s going to survive.”
On Sept. 22, his family temporarily closed up shop because Keith was hospitalized for a gall bladder infection at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Doctors told the family that he was very sick, as the infection spread to other organs. “They said, most likely we should prepare his last wishes,” according to his wife.
The Mowry family was devastated to hear that they might lose a husband, father and grandfather. However, a doctor at Herny Mayo mentioned the possibility of saving his life through transplant surgery, his wife said.
“The last two weeks have been a whirlwind,” she said. “You just never know; your life can turn upside down in a matter of hours.”
She said doctors checked Keith’s health status and insurance and then transported him to a UCLA Health facility. Doctors then verified how damaged his organs were and approved a transplant surgery.
“This place is incredible,” she said. “Fortunately, they were able to find a donor match.”
She added that their family checks in through calls and texts almost every day. They have three grandchildren ages 6, 3 and 2, who don’t fully understand the gravity of Keith’s situation.
“They don’t know how sick Pappa is,” BJ Barnes Mowry said. “They are so used to seeing him at the store and roughhousing with him. They are a great source of joy in his life.”
Bob’s Country Meats temporarily closed down, according to the family. They hope to reopen the shop as soon as Keith recovers.
His wife said community members have been worried about Keith, and because so many people have asked how they could help, the family opened a GoFundMe page to benefit Keith’s recovery, and serve as an income until Keith can open his business again.
As of Friday, community members raised $21,890 for Keith and his family, according to the GoFundMe.
“He has no idea how the community has rallied behind him,” BJ Barnes Mowry said. “Transplants don’t come cheap. It’s very touching that people have donated to his recovery, especially people who can’t afford to donate, but they do.”