April 24 is a date Vonnie McGowan looks forward to. It's her birthday and this year she turned 57.
But instead of a romantic dinner with her husband and opening gifts, she fought for her life on an operating table at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.
For three weeks, the music industry veteran was on life support with family and friends maintaining a prayer vigil, willing her to make it through the aneurysm and stroke that left her in a coma.
"God is good. God is real and he answered my prayers," a recovering McGowan told the Jamaica Observer last week from her Florida home.
"This whole experience has totally changed my life, it has taught me so many things."
That learning experience inspired her to start a breakfast programme at select schools in Jamaica. She said barrels containing the products are en route to Jamaica.
Also on McGowan's agenda is a gospel concert in Florida dubbed Vintage Gospel Revival.
"As soon as I am fully recovered I will be going all out to make it happen," she said.
Earmarked for the concert are Otis Wright, Barbara Jones, Norris Weir and Cindy Isaacs.
McGowan, who will undergo corrective surgery on tomorrow, worked for many years on radio in New York City and Florida, and was once publicist for lovers rock singer Sanchez.
She was also a promoter of reggae shows in New York City and South Florida, including the popular Nostalgia in Gold.