By Caroline Vandergriff

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas man’s battle with COVID-19 caused him to walk away from his successful career to find more purpose in his work.

He’s one of a record number of Americans quitting their jobs this year, including 4.4 million in September alone, as the pandemic continues to make people rethink their work expectations.

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It’s been dubbed the “Great Resignation.”

“I think it’s deeper than just changing jobs,” Todd Bart said. “I think it’s people realizing that life is short, and if you don’t get up each day excited or looking forward to what you’re doing to do, it’s not worth it.”

Bart spent decades as a CPA in the oil and gas industry, until he came down with a serious case of COVID-19 in February.

“I was so sick, I couldn’t communicate,” he said. “My head hurt, the pain, I couldn’t get up and do anything.”

It took him two weeks and a day in the hospital to recover.

“The first day I got well, I said this is not – it was like my eyes were opened,” said Bart. “I realized, why am I not doing what I’m called to do?”

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He quit his job that same month.

Bart thought back to the previous year and the final months of his mother’s life. The 78-year-old refused to go to a nursing home or move in with the Barts, so they found a caregiver to come to her.

“It made a huge difference in my mom’s life,” he said. “In her dignity.”

He and his wife decided to open a franchise of CareBuilders at Home in the Fort Worth area to give other families the chance to keep their elderly or disabled loved one safely at home.

“It’s already so fulfilling and we’re so excited about what we’re going to be able to do to help people,” said Bart.

They’ve already hired several caretakers and are looking forward to booking their first clients.

Bart knows not everyone can afford to take this leap of faith, but he hopes they’ll find a way to follow their desire for more purpose.

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“Even if you don’t start your own business or go out on your own, you can at least do more,” he said. “Be more involved in your community.”

Caroline Vandergriff