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'He’s everybody’s world': Community rallying around hospitalized Fort Worth chef

"The ironic thing is, Henry has a big heart, and now his heart is failing him," said Henry Abuto's twin sister. Abuto is in critical condition at the hospital.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Henry Abuto has a smile that can light up any room. His twin sister, Esther Gay, said in many ways, he is a light to those around him.

“Henry is everything,” Gay said. “He has a huge heart.” 

Abuto is a well-known chef and musician in Fort Worth. His sister told WFAA he immigrated from Kenya with his family at the age of nine years old. He carried his Kenyan roots with him and shares his love of food with his community.

Abuto is the proud owner of ByWasogna, a catering and events company he runs from his beloved food truck.

Beyond catering events, Gay said her brother is always giving back to his community. He cooks meals for the homeless, holds donation drives, and provides meals to families in need across Tarrant County.

“The ironic thing is, Henry has a big heart, and now his heart is failing him,” said Gay.

On Saturday, the vibrant chef suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest. He was surrounded by friends when he collapsed. Gay told WFAA his friend, a nurse, saved his life. She performed CPR until medics arrived. 

Gay said her brother had to be revived. Now, he’s in critical condition at a hospital in Dallas as he awaits a possible heart transplant. The family is trying to sort through insurance challenges while figuring out how to cover his medical costs.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” Gay said. “When I got that phone call, I collapsed… because I cannot imagine a world without my twin brother. He’s been with me since the womb.”

The community he loves and cares for is now coming together to support him right back.

Overnight, a GoFundMe page created to help pay for his medical care exploded. People in the community have shared it hundreds of times, which helped the family raise money to cover some upcoming medical costs.

Gay said the response shows just how much he means to so many.

“He is your support system, he is your prayer guide, he’s your support… he’s my world,” Gay said. “He’s everybody’s world. He’s the person you look to when you need somebody.” 

Abuto, described as someone who always helps others, now finds himself fighting for his life and needing help.

“Please continue to pray. God is hearing our prayers,” said Gay.