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Atlanta Falcons Coach Mike Smith is all heart

Photos by Lesley Kerr

Photos by Lesley Kerr

Atlanta Falcons Coach Mike Smith gave heartwarming remarks at the 31st annual Atlanta Heart Ball, held Saturday at the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton to benefit the American Heart Association.

“As the head coach of your Atlanta Falcons, we understand the importance of having a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy heart,” he said. “Healthy living is simple. It’s about healthy eating, getting exercise and getting enough sleep.”

In December, Smith was hospitalized in Charlotte after suffering chest pains following a Falcons-Panthers game. Following the episode he said he would make some lifestyle changes.

“We can find 30 minutes (per day) for physical activity,” he said. “We need to commit to a healthy diet. We need to pay attention to our own personal health by going to our doctor on a regular basis. If we all commit to doing this and go out and talk about it we are going to improve health in the United States.”

The Urowsky family.

The Urowsky family.

Chaired by John and Karen Reyhan, the event featured a moving video sharing the story of Jake Urowsky, who was born with heart problems so severe that his parents had no choice but to accept hospice care when he was still an infant.

But with a pacemaker and the continued support of the American Heart Association, Jake is a happy 9-year-old today. He was joined at the event by his parents, Amy and Todd Urowsky, and his  7-year-old brother Tyler. Both young men gave very brief remarks (”Thank you!”) and each happily accepted a Falcons jersey from Smith.

Smith concluded his remarks with another charge: “Let’s have a whole lot of fun and raise a whole lot of money!”

Following the event’s live auction, organizers announced the event had raised more than $1 million.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

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[...] Atlanta Falcons Coach Mike Smith is all heart Atlanta Falcons Coach Mike Smith gave heartwarming remarks at the 31st annual Atlanta Heart Ball, held Saturday at the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton to benefit the American Heart Association. “As the head coach of your Atlanta Falcons, we understand the … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]