As a notoriously heavy chain smoker, Jennifer Ross' raspy voice has filled the radio airwaves across South Florida for almost four decades. J-Ross (my nickname for her) has been off the air for over ninety days. She's usually an open book with what's going on in her life, but after a near-death experience, she has been unusually private.
FULL INTERVIEW with Jennifer Ross
"I used to live out here... (showing the smoking area at the radio station). When they finally took me out of my induced coma the surgeon said, 'You know what, I got to see the inside of ya,' he says, 'If you wanna' live... quit smoking,' so it's been three months and I'm done," says J-Ross.
"That's big, that she doesn't smoke anymore... In fact, they were slapping nicotine patches on her in the hospital, she's like, 'It's already out of my system, I'm done, I'm not smoking anymore," says Karen Curtis, News Anchor at 850 WFTL.
In June, Jennifer Ross was in her pool with her new granddaughter, Nora. As she got out of the pool, "I collapsed five feet into the house, on the floor, writhing in pain," explains Jennifer.
She was in ICU at Martin Memorial for about ten days because she had a quarter-sized hole in her stomach and a perforated intestine, and her body went septic.
"When I woke up, I didn't know where I was, I didn't know what happened, and I had tubes down me, up me, I still call these my vampire bites because there were ports up here," demonstrates Jen on her neck.
Jennifer didn't post anything about it on social media saying she doesn't like seeing saddening posts online, "I didn't want to depress anybody, or make people feel obligated to come see me," explains Jennifer.
The incident helped focus Jennifer into realizing what was important to her in life, "My children are everything, my walking down the street with my dog, is like the greatest thing in the world, playing with the pig in the backyard--this is fun... I thought... This is horrible, my granddaughter is never going to know who I am... She does now though," giggles Jen.
Jennifer says, what motivated her was her family, and realizing she wasn't ready for retirement.