Davis Davis, the PBA and USBC Hall of Famer who amassed 18 titles over the course of a legendary tour career, said he is feeling “great” following an emergency open-heart surgery procedure he underwent on Feb. 12.
“I had been short of breath and just tired all the time, so my wife finally called the ambulance and they sent me to the hospital in Lake Placid, who sent me to the hospital in Sebring, who sent me to the hospital up here in Avon Park, and we found out that all three arteries were clogged totally. I’m lucky to be alive,” said the 78-year-old, who added that he never previously had had any heart issues.
“It was a shock to me. I had never even felt anything other than being tired, but I never, ever had any pain or anything. And all of a sudden, there it was.”
Davis, who lives in Lake Placid, Florida, with wife Joann, said Monday that the only difficulty he has had following the surgery is soreness in his chest resulting from the procedure.
“Other than that, I feel good,” he said.
He expects to be released from the hospital on Wednesday to continue his recovery at home.
“They’re going to take all the tubes out tomorrow, and then watch me for another day, and then I get to go home,” he said.
The left-hander’s 18 titles include Tournament of Champions victories in 1968 and 1975, as well as PBA National Championship titles in 1965 and 1967 — all major victories. He won the first of those PBA National titles at age 23 and, two years later, he won six titles in the 1967 season alone.
Davis enjoyed great success in the senior ranks, winning back-to-back USBC Masters titles in 1995 and 1996, and the PBA ranked Davis 19th on the “50 greatest Players in PBA History” list it compiled in its 50th anniversary season in 2008. Davis was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1978, and the USBC Hall of Fame in 1990.
While speaking with Bowlers Journal from the hospital, Davis reminisced a bit about his career.
“I had great roommates over the years. [Bo] Burton, [Johnny] Petraglia, [Dave] Soutar. We’re all in the Hall of Fame, and yet we were all nobodies when we first started,” he said. “I went out on the tour, but I never really thought about winning. Then, all of a sudden, you start to win and you think, ‘Holy cow, I am pretty good.'”