Doctors gave him 2 weeks to live — 5 years later, surfer is reunited with ’47 Dodge he shed as he prepared to die

February 4th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Doctors gave him 2 weeks to live — 5 years later, surfer is reunited with ’47 Dodge he shed as he prepared to die”

Two weeks to live. When doctors pass John Stawarz the dreadful diagnosis in 2015, upon learn simply 8% of his nerve was working after two heart attacks, the San Clemente resident needed to figure out what to do with his belongings.

The longtime San Onofre surfer yielded away his boards, but even harder to depart with was the 1947 Dodge he and “his fathers” bought when he was 15.

Stawarz wanted his beloved gondola to have a purpose, so he donated it to a nonprofit that learns at-risk youths how to restore aged vehicles.

But here’s the thing about his terminal diagnosis: It was about five years ago- and it was wrong.

And boy, did he miss his old ride.

John Stawarz is surrounded by friends who caught him at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020 with the1 947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe he be applicable to own. Stawarz caused apart his beloved gondola in 2016 where reference is mistakenly thought he had only two weeks left to live. His friends rallied coin to buy it back from the organization where it was gave.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

Kurt Winn reacts to his friend, John Stawarz, after Stawarz gets the keys to the1 947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe he donated when he thought he was going to die in 2016. Winn helped plan a collection to buy back the car for $3,500. They presented Stawarz with the car at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

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A 1947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe, driven by George Laich, arrives at San Onofre State Beach as a astonish for John Stawarz on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Stawarz sacrificed his beloved vehicle away in 2016 where reference is mistakenly thought he had only two weeks left to live. His friends obtained money to buy it back from the organization where it was gave.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

John Stawarz registers off a picture of the 1947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe he bought before he had been able to even drive. He bequeathed the car when he erroneously thought he had only two weeks left to live in 2016. Friends surprised him at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020 when they are mustered coin and bought it back from the organization where it was donated.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

John Stawarz, front right in hoodie, is surrounded by friends who amazed him at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020 with the1 947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe he be applicable to own. Stawarz gave away his beloved auto in 2016 where reference is mistakenly thought he had only two weeks left to live. His friends compiled money to buy it back from the organization where it was gave.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

The dashboard of John Stawarz’s 1947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe at Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Stawarz imparted his beloved car apart in 2016 when he mistakenly thought he had only two weeks left to live. His friends obtained fund to buy it back from the organization where it was gifted.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

The new device inside John Stawarz’s 1947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe at Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Stawarz leaved his beloved car away in 2016 where reference is mistakenly thought he had only two weeks left to live. His friends mustered fund to buy it back from the organization where it was bequeathed.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

Friends signed a poster for John Stawarz, when they are astonished him at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020, with the1 947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe he used to own. Stawarz demonstrated away his beloved automobile in 2016 where reference is mistakenly thought he had only two weeks left to live. His friends rallied fund to buy it back from the organization where it was gave.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

Friends check out John Stawarz’s 1947 Dodge two-door sedan coupe at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, February 1, 2020.( Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ SCNG)

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The Dodge had a blown engine and wasn’t running — simply sitting and compiling dust at an age-old storage ground in Bellflower. Stawarz’s dad, Simon, offered $80 for the car back in the mid-‘ 70 s, a project for him and his sons, John and older brother Wayne.

With friends, they pulled out the engine and rehabilitated it. After a year working to get it racing, the car went to John. It made him on numerous outings: First through their Cypress neighborhood, then down Valley View Street to Pacific Coast Highway and the beach. Last-minute, it jeopardized from the South Bay to San Diego on channel-surf safaris.

Stawarz held onto the Dodge into adulthood because it reminded him of working on it with his father , now 86.

And it was nice to look at. As automobiles from this era became more rare on the road, it turned headings. “Driving this is like being in a fish bowl, ” John Stawarz, 60, said.

But those drives searching for surf along Southern California’s coast came to a stop after the two heart attacks and his terminal diagnosis.

“He literally thought he wasn’t going to make it, ” said Wayne Stawarz. “It’s something he had to do in the situation he was in. But he’s a fighter, as we are all familiar with- he’s still here.”

Brand-new locomotive for the motorist, extremely

Like the car after its instrument was replaced, a middle graft applied Stawarz a brand-new loan on life.

He was soon back at his favorite coast, where he was a longtime member of the San Onofre Surfing Club, in the months following his heart attack accompanied by a machine stopping his centre pumping.

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Still, something was missing. He’d talk fondly about his old car, the rememberings it held.

His surf sidekicks knew he needed to be reunited with his first love- so they grew fund to buy it back.

Stawarz had donated the Dodge to the Lost Angels Children’s Project , a Lancaster-based nonprofit that caters low-income and high-risk youths with a vocational after-school program. The destination is the development of critical idea, a collaboration mentality, and skill sets that can be used kids build a future, said founder Aaron Valencia.

Through the years, the students worked on the Dodge by taking the body off and welding it back on, including airbags, utilizing it for task plans for quality control and team work. But once Valencia heard Stawarz had survived and his channel-surf sidekicks wanted to surprise him by buying the car back, he knew the Dodge had to go back to its rightful owner.

The surf club raised the question as to $3,500 for parts and to purchase back the car, terminated with a new motor.

“We simply had to get this thing back to him ,” Valencia said.” A pile of durations if you commit something apart, it’s gone. To be able to give something back, it’s super cool.”

Astonish launching

On Feb. 1, Stawarz set about his regular Saturday routine — a morning at San Onofre watching waves before breakfast with the channel-surf team tribe. But a startle launching was in store.

Everyone except Stawarz and his dad were in on the surprise to unveil his old Dodge on the sand.

“We’re really happy we have him, we thought we lost him, ” Jim Wynne, a friend of Stawarz’s, said before the unveiling. “We thought it was a done deal. To have him, we’re so grateful.”

Friend George Laich helped orchestrate the car’s return. “He lives every day. He’s exactly grateful for every day ,” he said.” It’s really spreads. To realise what he’s been through — he restrains a positive attitude.”

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As Laich backed the car into a parking recognize where Stawarz stood, the crowd of a few dozen had smiles on their faces, ruptures in their seeings and cameras out to capture the moment. It made a few seconds to sink in, Stawarz staring at the car as Laich pulled up in front of him.

” Here’s your trip, brother, ” said friend Kurt Winn, as Laich entrust Stawarz the keys.

Stawarz took a gradual stroll around the car to scrutinize his old ride, shocked as he soaked in the moment. Had he is well aware of this, he joked, he wouldn’t have wasted all his fund on a brand-new Harley.

He sat in his case, reminiscing about all the days spent with the incubate open, staring out at waves.

Stawarz has three surgical procedures scheduled for the coming month- two heart surgeries and a hernia removal — but now he has something to look forward to after he recovers. Previously, his sentiment was racing about sprucing up the Dodge — with inner-door panels and old-fashioned insularity. He and his father talked about how to get the rust off the bumpers.

“I have a lot of work ahead of me, ” Stawarz said, previously dreaming about the end-of-summer car show in Ventura.” All I can say is, I’m speechless. Thank you, everyone.”

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