I am sad to report that Evelyn Oswick, who appeared in Forks Over Knives, passed away at 90. I feel fortunate to have met Evelyn during filming, and I found her kind, sweet, and gracious.

Evelyn was one of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s patients in his original heart disease study. After reversing her heart disease, she became a passionate advocate for a plant-based diet. She was also a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. For many years, she was a communications professor at John Carroll University.

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About 30 years ago, Evelyn suffered two heart attacks while in her fifties. After an angioplasty and a triple bypass, her cardiologist told her there was nothing more he could do for her and that she wouldn’t live out the year. Then she joined Dr. Esselstyn’s research study at the Cleveland Clinic, dramatically reversed her advanced heart disease, and lived for another thirty years.

I remember when I saw Evelyn on film for the first time. The footage brought me to tears because she reminded me of my grandmother and the grim prognosis she received for colon cancer. I only wish my grandmother had found the better path as Evelyn had. Thanks to Evelyn’s willingness to share her story, hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of people around the world will take the steps to avoid a life made tragically difficult or cut short by chronic disease.

Evelyn will live on through each and every person that is inspired by her story. There are so many people out there who found inspiration in Evelyn, turned their health and lives around, and are now enjoying a husband’s or wife’s company, celebrating a birthday, or playing with a grandchild. That’s quite a wonderful legacy and the reason we want to celebrate her life.

Watch Evelyn speak about her experience in the video below.

*Dr. Esselstyn’s groundbreaking long-term study demonstrated how a low-fat, plant-based diet could successfully reverse advanced heart disease. Learn more at his website and in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

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