These days, when Capt. Sean Black speaks from the heart, it is with particular significance.
The Marco Island charter boat captain recently survived a near-fatal heart attack made even more distressing because he and his family have no medical insurance.
Within days, friends and associates had put together a fundraiser at Jack’s Lookout in the Marco River Marina.
It took the form of a fish fry and hog roast, with musician JRobert and also the Bk Band providing the grooves.
Black, 43, was able to make just a brief appearance at the fundraiser, but now wants to make sure everyone who helped knows about his gratitude.
“I just wanted to thank you for your paper’s support through this ordeal,” Black wrote in an e-mail.
“I was pretty fortunate to survive this particular heart attack as it comes with only a 10 percent survival rate.
“Thanks to friends and the community of Marco, I realize how important people are in all our lives,” he said.
Black said he’d arrived on Marco 20 years ago, and had observed “beauty like no other.”
It wasn’t only the physical beauty of the island that drew him in, he said, but the people as well.
“Coming from the Northeast, I never felt the warmth and friendliness of people (compared with) the hospitality I felt during the early days of living here.
Black said he never expected such spontaneous help, learning about the effort from his close friend and fellow boat captain, Scott Ray.
But word of the fundraiser spread quickly, and friends weren’t the only contributors.
“What I believed to be a gathering of friends turned out to be a community effort the likes I would have never believed,” Black said.
He said besides individuals, many Marco businesses stepped up to the plate as well.
“Saturday’s event has touched both myself and my wife (Barbara),” he said.