The relentless, physical work required to be a successful farmer is not for the faint of heart – an expression that could never be used to describe Roberto Rodriguez.
Despite suffering from heart disease since he was a young boy and undergoing two heart valve surgeries, Roberto has spent his life in the fields. For the last 10 years, he has owned and run a thriving organic strawberry farm in Watsonville with his brother Manuel.
Although his life and career are firmly anchored in his success at a job he loves, his serious heart condition – damaged aortic and mitral valves – was always a cloud hanging over him and his family. On June 16, 2011, Rodriguez successfully underwent aortic valve surgery at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center.
“Now my health is better than ever,” says Rodriguez. “I feel really good. This surgery is the greatest thing that could ever have happened to me.”