A Christmas wish came true for a disabled florist Thursday, when a Good Samaritan surprised him with a check to buy hundreds of Christmas trees from his flower shop.
“He came from the heavens and bought all my trees,” Jorge Alvart, the owner of Jorge Orchid & Inc., said of Mike Fernandez’s good deed.
Alvart, a double amputee, blamed road construction near his flower store for having trouble selling his tree inventory this holiday season. Certain lanes have been closed near Southwest 20th Street and Southwest 57th Avenue, and two stores adjacent to the flower store went out of business recently.
An NBC 6 story that aired Wednesday brought attention to Alvart’s hardship. Fernandez, the founder of health insurer Simply Healthcare, said he was touched by the story and wanted to help.
Disabled Man's Christmas Tree Sales Hampered by Construction on Red Road
“I saw somebody who would be damaged emotionally, and he’s such an inspiration to anyone who says it cannot be done,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said the purchased trees would be donated to families across Miami who can’t afford to buy one.
When Fernandez learned on Thursday that Alvart has liver failure and needs a transplant, Fernandez said he phoned the CEO of a local hospital.
“I said, ‘What can we do to help this man get a transplant?’ and he told me there was a waiting list,” Fernandez said. “And I said, ‘Look, we would be happy to pick up the cost of that surgery.’”
Alvart said Fernandez was helping save his business -- and life.
“This was an angel who came here to give me a hand,” Alvart said.