I saw this post on social media and it caught my eye because we are all struggling at this time to make sense of the bizarre events in this present COVID-19 pandemic. All of our lives have been turned upside down. But, in the midst of this tragedy, there are people who can make lemonade out of lemons. Staying positive and being kind is essential. This is a feel good story and a reminder of being grateful at all times. Dennis DeVivo is a Fort Pierce resident and is currently living his dream retired and building a dream home on South Hutchinson Island.

50 years ago today ( April 4th) I was shot with a shotgun at college by four guys who were looking for revenge to another person. They thought I was that person but nope, they got the wrong person. Today I was going to go to Nebraska to my old college campus just to view the exact spot and finally have closure, so I thought! I decided my life turned out pretty good for just being a hard working insurance professional and in building my new home in Florida, I was more than reflected this past week. With the Coronavirus among us and the many people dying needlessly, I thought that 50 years ago I should have been dead as well. Dr. John Porter operated on me and saved my life. The nurses were fantastic as most of the hospital staff. Many people I really didn’t know, took care of me because for reasons of complications, my parents and family could not come to take care of me, for my sister’s first child had died. I had to do this alone and strangers rallied around me to help me survive both mentally and physically. Since that day I have always paid it forward and will continue to do so. While this virus is still attacking the American public, please find resilience in all you do. Be mindful to help when you can but be careful not to expose yourself. Doctors, nurses, health care people who are working round the clock without sleep or food, are true heroes so treat them as such. They were to me 50 years ago and I’ll never forget them. This is my profound message to all today to be the best you can be, give back to other people and make a difference in someone’s life. I do this all the time! This is me, this is who I am and I love all my friends and family who helped me through the years. Today, I finally have closure!

My message has always been to be positive. Look at things in the light instead of the darkness. I’m not religious at all but more spiritual. What happened to me 50 years ago made me the man I am today. A little fun crazy type of guy but always positive to do for others and to do it right!
Thank you Dennis DeVivo for your contribution to the community. Feature photo by Michael Evans.

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Plythe Freedman holds a MA in Youth Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary. She is a mother of two. Her passion for small businesses and her community has been displayed through her many hours of volunteering and meeting with city officials to assist in promoting Fort Pierce. She is also a former board member of Grace Way Village, a non profit organization that helps clothe and feed disadvantaged children. She is a former member of the Chamber of Commerce and a former Royal Palms member. She served on the RDC advisory board at Suncoast Mental Health Center. And She was appointed by a City Commissioner to serve on the CRA Advisory Committee as the chair. She worked with Frontline For Kids as their public relations specialist and had her own column in the Lincoln Park Main Street Showcase. Plythe's goal is to promote Fort Pierce as a destination for families to visit, live, work and play.

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