Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:04 PM EST
It’s the end of an era for one Manatee County doctor, who after thirty-plus years and thousands of deliveries went off duty for the last time.
- Dr. Jose Matta established practice in Bradenton over 25 years ago
- Matta delivered last baby, Eleanor Rose, on Dec. 28
- Matta's daughter succeeding him at practice following his retirement
On Wednesday, December 30, Dr. Jose Matta delivered his final baby, Eleanor Rose, at Manatee Memorial Hospital. The baby's mom, Elizabeth Fridley, said she felt honored to share the connection.
"It's like, that's the lottery, I won the lottery there ... it's more special," said Fridley.
Fridley, too, is also in the medical field. She recently helped Dr. Matta when he was having heart problems.
"It's hard to find a doctor that doesn't treat you just like a patient and talks to you for a long time," said Fridley. "He didn't rush me out of the office or anything. I'll remember that."
That sense of appreciation was felt throughout Matta's office Friday as he said goodbye to former patients and co-workers. He said it was a bittersweet moment because unlike others who welcome the end of their working days, he isn’t too excited about retirement.
"Because I have a lot of fun with it, this is my life,” said Matta. "All the fun I had with my patients, all the joking around, personal interactions.”
Matta did say he's looking forward to taking some time to travel, and work on old cars. As he starts the next chapter, he said he’ll take the memories of patients, who have become family, along with him every step of the way.
Dr. Matta’s daughter will take his place at his office following his retirement.