Of the value of heart doctors & Sir Chuck

Of the value of heart doctors & Sir Chuck

My rambling path never crossed that of the late Dr. Dale Geiss, which is good and bad, it seems.

Bad because he sounds like a fascinating and inspiring man.

Good because meeting Geiss would likely have meant my ticker needed work and he would have probably told me to stop eating pie for breakfast.

Geiss was a heart surgeon and, by most accounts, he was one of the best in Peoria, where he spent much of his career. His accomplishments at OSF St. Francis Hospital are legendary and former coworkers speak with admiration of the man who died June 11 after completing more than 12,000 surgeries.

Among those parising Geiss is Shannon Glover of Elmwood, who spent hours beside him in open-heart suites at OSF and Methodist hospitals.

“I can’t say enough about how much he taught me to be the nurse I am today,” Glover said. “He was often tough on us one minute, but then laughing with us the next. He truly was a legend in cardiac surgery, for adults and pediatrics.”

Many others emailed similar anecdotes, including Farmington native Nicole Largent of Wyoming.

You get a feel for why they took time to write after reading tributes to Geiss posted under his obituary at woolsey-wilton.com. Family after family wrote notes about loved ones Geiss had saved. Some included pictures of their infant children, with follow-up pictures of these “babies” who are now adults.

That message should resonate with anyone. It strikes home even closer for me because my wife had successful open-heart surgery when she was 5 years old. Living in Decatur at the time, her best option was to travel to St. Louis to find a surgeon who could handle the procedure. Many face similar long journeys to find top-notch care.

We don’t. We are truly blessed to be so close to major medical centers where doctors like Dale Geiss can and do make a positive difference in so many lives.

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Leave it to Doubet: Scott Doubet of Elmwood is never at a loss for words. And he usually comes up with a few worth hearing. Most recently, Doubet said “sovereignty” was misspelled in the stained-glass state seal that crowns the Illinois Capitol. Sounds crazy, right? Nope. Turns out a 19th-century artist painted the word as “sovereignity” in a banner that’s held in the beak of an eagle. While the glass was cleaned in the 1980s, the misspelling was left because of its historical significance. … Parting shot: Somebody told me recently they wish Charles Barkley was president. Not me. I just hope Barkley sticks with his current job as an analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA – the closest thing to must-see TV left. I’ve laughed out loud almost nightly at the antics of Sir Chuck and Shaquille O’Neal during the playoffs. But along with the joking, Barkley offers unvarnished, in-depth insights other announcers are too scared to provide. Many nights, listening to Chuck is more fun than watching the games.

Contact Jeff Lampe at (309) 231-6040 or jeff@wklypost.com