HOUSTON - Just a few years ago, attending the World Series seem pretty insignificant to Jones Creek, Texas, resident Marvin Hawkins.
A serious health challenge changed his life forever, but made his trip to see his Atlanta Braves World Series Game 1 win over the Houston Astros that much sweeter.
"I've always wanted to go to a World Series, and because I live right outside of Houston this is the perfect opportunity," Hawkins said.
In 2015, Hawkins wasn't thinking about baseball. His focus was on surviving.
Hawkins said he was going through health issues and had a 90% blockage of his heart. He was scheduled to undergo a five-hour quadruple bypass surgery.
Something went wrong during surgery and Hawkins flatlined.
"They were actually going to wait a few days because I was on multiple medications," Hawkins said. "But once I died the following morning, they had to do an emergency triple bypass."
Hawkins said doctors called his daughter to tell her he was entering an emergency surgery, he said. Doctors revived him, and his road to recovery began days later.
"Five days after the surgery, I was back home," Hawkins said. "Within three months, I was back at work."
He said he’s since changed his eating habits and lost weight. He’s training for a 5K race.
Hawkins was born in Pensacola, Florida, and gravitated to the Atlanta Braves by watching them on national TV. When the Astros were in the national league and played Atlanta more often, he went to more Astros games. He doesn’t get to watch his favorite Major League Baseball club as much anymore.
After his near-death experience, he decided he may never get a better opportunity to witness Braves history.
He said he bought tickets to Game 1 on the day of the game as prices dropped to meet demand. With the position the Braves were in during July, a 7.7% chance to make the playoffs, he said he was never thought the Braves would be one of the final two teams playing.
"To me, it’s going to be awesome," Hawkins said. "I never thought at the beginning of the year we would be here."
Does he want the Braves to win? Of course, but he said he feels lucky just being in the stadium, heart beating faster with the lead-up to first pitch.
"Just being here is awesome," Hawkins said.