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Sunday, July 17, 2016

A few minutes with ... a father with a full heart

Chester (Chet) Szuber, 80, of Berkley, holds a photo of his daughter, Patti Szuber, on July, 15, 2016.(Photo: Kyle Catchpole)
DETROIT FREE PRESS | Jim Schaefer

There were times when I spoke with Chester Szuber last week when we had to pause so he could compose himself. We were talking about the heart transplant he received nearly 22 years ago.

Szuber, who calls Berkley home, spends much of his year on his Christmas tree farm in Alpena. He is 80 now, and says he’s never felt better.

Szuber had his first heart attack at 32, and in the late 1980s, his third bypass surgery, which couldn’t be completed because he suffered a massive heart attack on the operating table. He went on the organ transplant list.

Finally, four years later, at age 56, Szuber got a new heart in an operation at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

When Szuber tells the story these many years later, his voice sometimes catches. Part of that, I’m sure, is gratitude welling up. He says his outcome is truly a miracle. Continue reading
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