Somerville woman makes ‘Price is Right’ Showcase
A Somerville woman was able to do something she never dreamed of doing, especially after doctors thought she wouldn’t make it through her open heart double bypass surgery almost exactly a year ago.
Marjorie Smith, 83, jokes that she got a “new” heart for Valentine’s Day last year. Since her recovery, she has been as active as ever visiting her traveling nurse daughter in California and appearing as a contestant on The Price is Right.
Smith said her heart problems started when she was on an earlier trip to California to visit her daughter.
“I kept getting short of breath, but we thought it was just the climate and altitude change,” Smith said. “After it kept happening in Florida at my daughter’s home, she took me to the hospital because she figured something was wrong with my heart. I underwent a double bypass surgery where they repaired a heart valve and had to put in a pacemaker. That was all at Valentine’s Day last year.”
Smith was in a cardiac intensive care unit in Florida for a month after complications had arisen during the surgery. While on the operating table, all of her vital organs had shut down. Smith said she was so weak during recovery, that she had to regain the strength to sit up on her own and to be able to walk again.
“My doctors didn’t think that I would make it,” Smith said. “They talked very carefully with my family about my condition. The only function that didn’t come back was my kidneys, so I was on dialysis for three months in Florida. I recently had all of the tubes and everything finally removed for the dialysis, and I just feel wonderful.”
Smith treasured her time on The Price is Right, and said she would love to do it again sometime. The show only lets contestants compete once in a 10 year period, but Smith said she would enjoy the chance again once she is 93.
“It was just such a fun time,” Smith said. “The excitement in the studio was palpable like I had never felt before. Drew Carey is such a great host, and he is so down to earth. He and the announcer have such a rapport with the audience.”
Smith was the first person to win the opening bid and play a game on stage. She was one number away from winning a car during her Cover Up game. After winning her at the big wheel with 75 cents, she made it to the Showcase Showdown. Her showcase included an Alaskan cruise, designer luggage and a trip to Switzerland and the French Riviera. Smith overbid her showcase, but she said she wasn’t too disappointed.
“I initially thought to bid about $23,000, which would have won, but I went with the crowd and said $27,000,” Smith said. “I wasn’t upset because I think God knows what He’s doing. I would have had to pay taxes on everything, and that would have been tough. It was just a great experience.”
The noise of the crowd and the excitement of the games made Smith overwhelmed during the show, but she didn’t look it.
“I lost my presence of mind with all the excitement and shouting, so it was hard to think,” Smith said. “I try to be positive and outgoing, so hopefully it showed on the show. I just love life, and I love people, so I had a good time.”
Smith said she has watched The Price is Right since the 1970’s, and never could have imagined that she would be on the show.
“I know I had hundreds of people praying for me, when I was recovering, so that’s what got me through,” Smith said. “I also had wonderful care from my doctors, nurses and family. I can’t thank them enough for what they did. I’m so glad I am still able to make visits to my daughter and have adventures like being on The Price is Right.”