The Open Heart

By John Kass

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

How far is Sweden’s Kvistrum Bridge from my room at the University of Chicago Hospital Center for Care and Discovery? You can see by the photo there are men salmon fishing upstream from that bridge. Isn’t that enough? Does it matter how far it is? Or who is in the water?

They’re human. They’re men. That’s enough. They seem to be fishing for sport, not for meat. Tight lines, boys!

I can’t even get my mind around the distance now. An eternity. An impossibility. For me the middle of the night isn’t the time of measuring distances, thinking of schedules, fretting over flies, guides, tackle. Right now, late at night, it is the time of trying to slow down the mind. A time of calming. And praying. It is not a time of worrying about politics either, of Chicago’s broken politics or Joe Biden’s broken border.

Betty reading on the couch in my hospital room. Holley, the nurse practitioner, has just left after interviewing me about my medical history. She wanted to see if I’ve got my mind around this thing. I think I’ve got my mind around it. But it’s really too late now to worry.

You’ve been with me for years on this great adventure, back when our sons were born. When we almost lost Betty during a difficult labor, only she and the boys were saved by the doctor with the great big hands, the late Ron Lorenzini, whom we called “the bricklayer.”

You were with me then almost 30 years ago. And for the past few years you’ve been with me as I’ve started this new thing, this adventure in independent journalism,

I’ve never lied to you and never will. And I owe you the truth.

In a few hours I’m scheduled for open-heart surgery, a double bypass. And yes, I’m a bit stunned, a bit worried. More than a bit actually. The heart doctors here at the University of Chicago are among the best heart surgeons in the world. And still, I’m worried.

How did they find the blockage? By luck. I’d been recovering from shoulder surgery and Jeff Carlin, and I did the most recent episode of Chicago Way podcast with mayoral candidate Paul Vallas.

Vallas was great and spoke with confidence. I mocked myself for taking pain pills while speaking into a microphone. But it wasn’t disastrous. Minutes after we hung up the phones, I felt strange, as if I were having an allergic reaction to the pain pills.

Doctors at Franciscan Health, Crown Point, kept me over one night for “observation” and just as they were about to release me, I began feeling chest pains and they ran one more test just to make sure. They found 100 percent blockage in one artery and 90 percent blockage in the other. Such blockage is called “the widow maker.”

Cardiologists at the University of Chicago accepted me as a candidate for surgery. They tell me it will hurt. But what doesn’t hurt? Life hurts. So what?

 And now we wait. The Lions and the Packers are playing but the sound is off. Betty is reading “Laptop from Hell.” Chicago politics is Chicago politics. Biden Inc. is Biden Inc. It is what it is.

I’ve emailed some of those great writers who’ve written guest columns here, telling them I might have to rely on them just a bit more over the next few days. I hope you don’t mind. And I hope they don’t mind.

I’m just trying to settle my mind with a prayer. I hope you don’t mind if I rely on you just a bit more too, and ask you to pray for us.

(Copyright 2023 John Kass)


Comments 196

  1. Dear John, I am praying now for you and your family. Giving thanks, as well, for the miracle times we live in and the medical practitioners who keep us all going.

    Anxious to hear updates.

    Pax vobiscum.

    1. John,

      I am delighted with your writing and insight; however, I am more overwhelmed by your faith and strong spirit. My wife and I will be praying for you and your family as you recover from surgery. Rest in the assurance of The Great Physician and the love of Jesus!

      His Peace

    2. John

      Prayers to the surgical team, your family for strength to get through this and to you as you rehab

      You are a gifted writer.

      Your unwavering beliefs as a “husband, father and Greek Orthodox Christian” and values have been an inspiration to your readers.

      From my own experience, your recovery will take you through very different mental and emotional states. Remember who you are and what you have done.

      Prayers for a speedy recovery and you are blessed with more years to continue your mission.

      Of course listen to rehab guidance of professionals…they work well!

    3. It’s not a walk in the park surgery John, but you will get through it. The U of C people saved my friend’s life. Amazing surgeons down there. Good luck and see you online soon. We will keep the light on for you.

  2. I’m your 81 yr old Irish Catholic priest fan in Sydney, John, offering Mass for you tomorrow, Wednesday 5.30pm which is about 2am Wednesday your time. And keeping you in all my other prayers, Rosaries etc. So may Jesus, Mary and Joseph watch over you and bring you back to 100% quickly. You don’t just catch fish, like St Peter and especially St Titus Brandsma, the great Dutch journalist saint killed by the Nazis for doing what you do, writing the truth to awful but morally bereft power. God and the Angels carry you through this, Brendan

    1. May I also add what we already know, The Lord works in mysterious ways. If you didn’t have your shoulder issues you may not have found your heart problems until it was too late. Seems like Our Lord has more plans for you on this earth. You and Betty are in my prayers

      1. I was thinking the same thing, that you would not have found the blockages if it were not for the shoulder surgery, but seemed like they should have found them with the EKG prior to the shoulder surgery? Whatever, my husband and I are thankful it was caught and that you are hopefully recovering from a successful surgery as I write this. We are praying for you, John.

  3. OMG, John, I can’t believe what’s happening to you!! Thank God they found the blockages and hopefully can repair them. Speaking as someone who has had 18 surgeries in my 74 years, yes it will hurt a while, but thank God they found them and have the ability to correct the problem. Please be a good patient, follow directions, and get well. Betty and your family need you, and we need your clear and intelligent voice more than ever. God bless you, John. Thinking about you and praying for you!

  4. Praying for a successful surgery and a full and fast recovery, John.

    And please don’t dawdle and pamper yourself with an extended period of rest after surgery…I do, after all, have quite a bit of time left on my subscription. 😉

    Our prayers are with you and Betty.

  5. Unfortunately I’ve been there. 100% and 80%. The good news is that double bypass was 26 years ago. You have a gift and have been given another one. Enjoy your walks and the people you meet in rehab. You’ll be fine!

  6. Runs in my family, we don’t tell ghost stories around the fire, we discuss family health history…no child sleeps well and they leave the lights on. Get well, my generation discovered veggies and no smoking, hopefully we, and you will be around for years to come. Work hard, have fun ,stay safe.

  7. Oh, my. One hospitalization for observation may have saved your life. You’ve had quite a medical odyssey over the past year or so. I wish you minimal pain from this latest operation and an excellent prognosis. I wish Betty and your son strength as well; they probably are more worried than you.

  8. Sorry to hear about your surgery, but glad the doctors detected the problem. Hopefully they can take care of it and get you on the road to good health soon. Have been reading your columns for years now and it feels like I know you and your family, at least a little bit, though we’ve never met. All the best to you and your family John!

  9. John, I have added you to my list of friend’s I regularly pray for, which has grown long with age. God bless you and your family. I will read your next post with anticipation.

  10. John-
    Wishing you a speedy recovery. May God watch over you and your family, and may He grant the surgeons with the knowledge and skills to pull you through. You’ve got this .👍

  11. Mr. Kass- you have just been added to my prayer list, which is activated at least every morning and every evening. I’m sure that you will do fine, don’t rush your recovery and therapy and do what the Doctors tell you.

    You have brought the truth and entertainment to all of us for many years, and I’m sure you will continue to do so in the future. And your Greek ancestors will continue to be proud of you for many years to come. You are a true journalist and a good man.

  12. Thank God they discovered it when they did. I’m reading this early on Tuesday morning, so I’m assuming that it was successful, you’re out of the ICU and recovering, now.

    Forty-three years ago, my now late father underwent surgery for a triple bypass, performed by Dr. John Najarian, heart surgeon, at the University of Minnesota Heart Hospital, now the Lillehei Heart Institute. At that time, it bought him an additional 8 eight years. Hoping this surgery gives you much, much more than that.

    Sit Deus vobiscum

  13. Sending prayers for a successful surgery and easy recovery…my dad had triple bypass with much the same blockage as you 22 years ago and he’s still here with us! We will see you on the other side!

  14. John, praying for a successful surgery for you! So glad they found the blockage and are able to operate! May the God of peace surround you in this health crisis!

  15. It’s a blessing they found this and you were in the hospital when they did. There’s a lot of people pulling/praying for you JK. We look forward to hearing from you when you get back. In the mean time, let the doctors do their magic and make sure to do what they tell you to do.

  16. John, it was a blessing to find these blockages and you will be as good as new ! Sending prayers for your medical team and your recovery and for Betty…she’s the BEST!

  17. John,

    Not to minimize the seriousness of open heart surgery, but as one who has had two open heart surgeries I found the apprehension to be worse then the event.

    I too was at UC and cannot underscore enough how capable the entire cardiology department is. Your recovery will be swift and complete.

    Theos na se evlogel
    Dennis Svilar

  18. Oh, dear…. Let’s pray.

    Father God, thank you for being with us and in us, and thank you for hearing our prayers for John, Betty, and the boys.

    We ask you to hold them close during this trial. We ask that you also surround the medical team, giving them insight, wisdom, skill, and compassion as they treat John’s big Greek heart.

    Restore John to health. Remind him that You are always with him, especially when the going gets tough.

    We thank you that we can boldly bring our concerns and cares to You, knowing that You hear us in Jesus’ name.


    Hang tight, Kass family! {{{{hugs}}}} We’ll continue to hold you up in prayer.

  19. John,

    We’re praying for you from down here in Tennessee! Hang in there buddy. You are so fortunate to be married to Betty. I’m sure you will be fine. You’re in good hands. Remember what Reagan jokingly said to the doctors right as he was being taken into surgery after being shot? “I hope you fellas are all Republicans.”

    1. May the courage, determination, and strength of Leonidas at Thermopylae rise up in you to meet this challenge and be victorious! Most importantly, May God take you in His arms and protect you and bless you and your family (and Zeus) throughout your ordeal. His love and compassion are all you really need. I and the entire band of Kassites will pray you to good health so that we may enjoy your talent, wit, and wisdom. God Bless!

      1. My prayers are with you, Betty and your whole family.

        My Dad had a quadruple bypass in the same hospital more than two decades ago. He didn’t dream about fishing, he just wanted to see his great grandchildren.

        8-weeks after the surgery … he was with all of us in Hawaii and he broke a toe body surfing on a black sand beach on the Big Island. When we took him to urgent care to get it checked, he laughed when the doctor on duty asked if he’d had any recent health issues.

        Oh, if you can’t make it to Sweden, or the “Big Two Hearted River” just for fun … try a big white and green “Dahlberg Diver” for Northern Pike and Musky “on the fly” from a canoe. When you see that big humped back of a Musky heading through the lily pads and wild rice for the fly, you’ll know what a bobber feels like.

        Best of luck my friend.
        Don P.

  20. Dear John,

    God bless you, Betty and the boys! I have followed you from your early trib days to your current writing career, so I feel like I know your family. Anyone who has had a loved one in the hospital experience’s hurry up and wait, endless what if’s, the silence and then the endless noise only to trust that your loved one is in God’s hands. I wish you speedy and successful recovery.
    Maybe it’s time to put the tomatoes back in the garden and add a few rose bushes?

  21. It seems when it rains it pours but I have a good feeling that you will have a speedy recovery. You are in good hands with the love of Betty and your family, as well as your team of the best Doctors in the world. Get well soon because we need you.

  22. You are so very lucky the problem was discovered and now you are in great caring and experienced hands. God is on your side, and so are we! Prayers sent your way!

  23. John, sending prayers for a full and complete recovery and restore to good health. I’m looking forward to many new columns from you when the time is right. Blessings…

  24. Sorry you have to undergo another surgery so soon but totally confident you are in the right place. My granddaughter is a Resident at UChicago so I hear lots about the wonderful accomplishments that take place there. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  25. When I started to read I thought something happened with your shoulder. Read further to the news.
    You are in a great hospital.
    I have two stents in my widowmaker since 2009.
    Take care, do the rehab, trust the medical staff.

  26. Hi John
    I’m lifting you up in my prayers. We know God works in mysterious ways and I’m sure it was Him who made sure they found your blockages. He will get you through this! Thank goodness they found it!

  27. My prayers are with you. I have had six surgeries and know the apprehension, in my case fear. The wait in the night is the hardest time. All the best to you.

  28. John my prayers are with you, Betty and the boys. I know this is a frightening time, my Dad had the Widow Maker and his surgery was a huge success, you are in great hands at the University of Chicago Hospital. Think very positively and follow all the post op instructions and cardiac recovery plan. You will be as good as new, wishing you a speedy recovery!

  29. John,
    You are blessed to be in the masterful hands of the UC heart surgeons and heart team. We pray for a successful revascularization of your heart and speedy recovery!

  30. John:

    You have my prayers right now and all through the day. You are my Veritas. Just know that for me, you became my daily read and my Veritas when I first read your Declan Sullivan story years ago at “the paper.” As a 50 Year Golden Domer, you also hooked me with the the story of why the Laetare Medal was turned down just one time in history.

    Get well my friend. We need your truth to help us see.

  31. In the late ‘80’s my father went to the doctor with shingles. One thing led to another and an aggressive cancer was discovered.
    Long story short, he had wonderful doctors at Northwestern who saved his life.
    Dad passed away in 2019 at the age of 95. I still think of the circumstances of the cancer discovery as God’s hand.
    Prayers for you and Betty.

  32. John, my heart sank when I read your column this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I was shocked to hear the news but confident all will work out. There’s too many people that love and need you. You are the last of the great ones that I’ve enjoyed listening to.

    The only bad news you’re going to hear is no more sausages, no more fried foods, cut back on the meats.

    You can do it John, it’ll be tough but we are all here for you.

  33. Our prayers are with you and your family, John. Had my by pass surgery 27 years ago. Quit smoking and started being physically active. Still here and grateful. Praying all goes well for you – hang tough.

  34. John,
    Ten years ago, I was where you are. Thanks to an astute internist, Dr Henry Palmer, and an accomplished interventional cardiologist, Dr Cameron Haery, I’m here today. Sounds like you are on the same path.
    Only thing is, we’ll miss reading about those visits to the local diners. Mrs Kass is sure to see that your culinary preferences undergo revision.
    We’ll enjoy reading your pinch-hitters and look forward to your return.

  35. I don’t know if you remember me John but I’m Dan McNeil’s uncle and we once had lunch at the Gage on Michigan Ave. I will pray for your quick recovery because prayer works. I once needed prayers when I was going in for triple bypass and came through it and recovered quickly. That was 24 years ago and I have remained healthy since. I did start and continue to work out on a regular basis and I have no memory of any pain….I think because I was afraid of not surviving the procedure. I was a heavy smoker and quit immediately and have never desired another cigarette. Keep a positive attitude because that helps in recovery. God Bless you and your family and I hope you return to writing soon. Tom Jerome

  36. I cannot believe what I read, but know God is watching over you and your family, picture an Angel on your left shoulder before Surgery and you will come through with flying colors. God is good and will be with you and so are we that respect your honesty and integrity. Forget Chicago and Washington, they have sold us out and so sad for the young. Take care of yourself and your family and pray for the World. God is in charge not them.

  37. Listen to what the docs tell you to do! I had a quad bypass two years ago by the team led by Dr Chris Pappas at Silver Cross. The pain is minimal but necessary for you to live.

  38. Wow John! You may find this strange but I listen to you guys while trying lifting weights at the gym. Not some hopped up music, but you and Jeff. Glad they found it in time! BIL had the same surgery, if my sister hadn’t taken him he would be gone. And my Mom found an aortic aneurism found during another procedure. Prayers to you for a speedy recovery!

  39. Good grief John. You’re becoming a frequent flyer at the medical establishments. I pray for a successful operation and your health. May you have a rapid recovery and return of continued observations about our human conditions. God bless you and your family.

  40. Fear not, John. You have Betty and the boys and all of us praying for you. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalms 23:4 New International Version

  41. You are going to pull through because you’re in good hands, you have the love and support of family and friends, and you’ve got work to do.

    I’m praying for you Kasso, as I’m sure many others are.

  42. Holy cow John, what a surprise! Well, I pray for your full recovery, and sooner rather than later. I’ll miss your columns for a bit, but your health is more important for sure! So prayers go out you and your wife. Good luck, and we’ll here from you soon!

  43. Thank God they found what they did when they did. Sure it’s going to hurt, but the alternative? I will pray for you and Betty and the boys but especially you. We’ve got your back.

  44. So sorry to hear this but grateful it was found. Praying for a successful surgery and healing. May God hold you and Betty in His hands and give you peace and comfort. God bless.

  45. Hang in there John. You will pull through. The Doctors can perform miraculous fetes these days! Take it from me. You’ll look back on this as another episode in your life!!!!

  46. Isn’t it interesting when we are confronted with unexpected or bad news in our lives we all turn to a Higher Power for help?
    Almost makes you want to keep God in our lives all the time.
    God be with you John.

  47. Rest easy John; God’s strength, your Guardian Angel and the power of prayer will see you safely through this challenge.
    I look forward to you enlightening us with your insight for many, many more years.
    I pray that you will be back on track very soon and that you regain the strenghth of a 20 year old with your heart fully repaired. God bless you.

  48. Hey, John. I’m in the very same hospital today with my sister-in-law. Drove her here to see her husband who is being evaluated for a lung transplant. I’ll be praying for you both.

  49. John,
    My wife Sharon and I very much appreciate your honesty, candor and entertaining stories. We wish you a speedy recovery and many more blessings in life.

  50. John, I am so glad that you paid attention to what your body was trying to tell you. I wish you a speedy recovery and a quick return to your commentaries. Best wishes to Betty in her efforts to help you mend.

  51. John, I too had open heart surgery a few weeks ago. It started with a simple fall…broken tail bone… I passed out in the hospital as I was getting ready to go home. Everything spiraled from there.
    Each day it became more and more clear. The Lords hand was obviously on the events. God is good. He has a plan to give you hope and a future. He will never leave you.
    I will be praying for you and your family.

  52. Dear John, please know that you and your family are in our prayers. You will be remembered in our Rosary intentions today and at Mass tomorrow. Sue and Dick Antonello

  53. Prayers for successful surgery and speedy, healthy recovery. Wow! Given how your blockage was found, I’m figuring the big guy upstairs (not the “big guy” in DC) must have much more planned for the earthly you. Take care. Best wishes to you and your family.

  54. John
    We’ve never met but by virtue of your writings I find we have much in common in many areas. You of course can express these things in words that I cannot.
    I pray for a rapid and as complete recovery as possible for you and peace for your family.
    I probably will be following in your footsteps on this matter so please keep us updated.
    Viva Cresto Rey

  55. Wow! Didn’t expect to see this! Even when there’s a problem or two, the human body is quite remarkable in most instances. In 2010 my husband hurt his knee at work and needed his meniscus repaired. During pre-op testing he found he’d had a silent heart attack and needed immediate fixing due to blockages like you. An emergency angiogram showed the need for 1 stent and the astounding news that one blocked artery had created its own natural bypass (I didn’t even know that was possible). Drs. also found that 1/3 of his heart had died and he now has an implanted defibrillator. So I get why you’re apprehensive but you’re still relatively young and this type of surgery has become pretty routine…except when it’s yourself, of course. You’re going to have to change your lifestyle a tad, maybe the food you eat, and probably start taking some meds. You’re also going to have to listen to your doctors. If they say you need rest, embrace it. When they say you need cardiac rehab, embrace it. You’ll start feeling better, getting your energy and mojo back and hopefully be fit to stand in a river/lake and cast your rod again by summer. Just think of all this as a little fork in the road like Kermit the Frog. God speed! P.S. Give Betty a hug and tell her when you feel better!

  56. God is watching over you, so all is well. I wish you a good recovery, and I will give you the advice I gave my father (an M.D. and surgeon) when he was in the hospital for surgery, “Now, mind your doctor!”

  57. I pray that the surgery went well, John. May God bless you with a speedy recovery. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, and I know that you will be fine, because only a man with the heart of lion can do battle with the likes of the “Chicago Way” hoodlums….

  58. John,

    I’m one of your biggest fans and have been silently reading your columns for 30 years. You’ve been an inspiration to me and the entire Chicagoland community for holding those scoundrels in city hall and cook county accountable. Me and my family lit a candle for you at Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church and will continue to pray for your full recovery. I know that your extended Chicago family will do the same.

    Most will do it in silence…..God Bless you John.

  59. Have faith, John. They do miraculous things these days. In August of 2020 I had an aortic valve replacement. I now have a cow valve keeping this 74 year old going. It was the best thing I ever had done! You don’t realize how much you compensate for your heart not working correctly until they fix it and it works the right way! I was fortunate to be a candidate for a TAVR, which means they did not have to open my chest. One of the easiest operations I ever had! If they could bring Damar Hamlin back, they can fix you, too! Prayers for you and yours!

  60. John,
    You have been very fortunate to have this discovered while in the hospital and now being able to get the arteries repaired by top notch surgeons at a top notch hospital.
    Hoping for succes and a speedy recovery.

  61. John,

    Praying for you here in Goodlettsville Tennessee. Also keeping Betty and the boys in my prayers as well as they’ll need the strength to help you through recovery. Hope we can find out soon how you are doing.

  62. Blessings to you, and your family. We await your return to good health and enlightening your readers on all the corruption in Chicago and Illinois. Keep after them. Much more work to do.

  63. Unfortunately, I missed this yesterday, but glad I saw it today so I could extend my prayers to you and your family. God Bless you John and peace to your family as they tend to you through this.

  64. Praying JK, quick Our Fathers and later in my Rosary. Take it easy, its in Gods hands, your a good man, and thru those great doctors you will be okay..

  65. Joining the thousands of others, I wish you a successful surgery because you have such a big heart full of good things. May God be with you and your family at this time, as He is always. My prayers are with you for a speedy and complete recovery.

  66. JK, may you sail through this operation and recover speedily! You are a man who perseveres and never, ever gives up. So I expect nothing less from you! May God guide the surgeon’s hand to provide you with the best possible outcome. Amen!

  67. Sending prayers to you and your family John. Glad they found it and will fix it. You will feel so much better. Please rest and listen to the Doctors and Betty

  68. John

    Prayers to the surgical team, your family for strength to get through this and to you as you rehab

    You are a gifted writer.

    Your unwavering beliefs as a “husband, father and Greek Orthodox Christian” and values have been an inspiration to your readers.

    From my own experience, your recovery will take you through very different mental and emotional states. Remember who you are and what you have done.

    Prayers for a speedy recovery and you are blessed with more years to continue your mission.

    Of course listen to rehab guidance of professionals…they work well!

  69. Yowsa !! Things happen for a reason. You were lucky to be in the right place at the right time…AND were smart enough to check out the warning signs. I guess pain is better than the alternative. Screw the politicians. Screw the borders. Hell, screw the world. Do what is needed to feel better and recover. That next fishing trip is going to the best you’ve ever had. Looking forward to your next column, no matter how long it is until we see it. Take care and get well soon.

  70. John, God will protect you. You have lots more work to do here and He will see that you have the
    time to do it. Many, many prayers are being sent up there for you. God bless!

  71. Thinking of you and praying for you as you recover from this unexpected surgery. What a wonderful miracle that they discovered the blockage and can correct it! You are probably not feeling too great physically right now (understatement of the year award probably), but I am sure inwardly you are singing God’s praises and thankful for His many blessings. I love your honesty and desire to “tell it like it is” in your column and podcasts. Helped keep me sane during all this craziness, but you deserve to take the time you need to recover and rejuvenate so please do so!

  72. John, I am thinking of you and Betty. My husband had a quadruple bypass in 1992, it was a frightening time for both of us, but he came through with flying colors, and was better than ever! I wish the same for you. He was fishing again in no time, and you will, too………a few diet and life style adjustments, but well worth it. Sending prayers that you are doing well, and improving every single day, and that your loving family is feeling encouraged and relieved.

  73. Prayers for your quick recovery, John. So happy they found it before it lived up to its name. As we say, perastika. Be well soon. Look forward to your great work still to come.

  74. John… Relax… Allow your body to heal. Health care is a human right. Who knows, you might have an epiphany and support Medicare for all. All the best… Bill

  75. I also was struck that had it not been for your shoulder suffering you would not have known about this. God works in mysterious ways, I’ve heard. Blessings on you.

  76. We pray you are recovering well, John. I don’t know how I missed this when you wrote it & tonight I found myself wondering about you & found this column. My Jon & I join the rest of your army of supporters as we send our prayers & love out to you. 🙏❤️🙏

  77. Well you have a good excuse to take a longer time off now!!! Wish you were fishing tho. Prayers for the hands and minds that are caring for you and I know you will be in fighting shape again very soon. You better be back for the mayor’s race!!!! We all miss you, you are irreplaceable.

  78. I just listened to today’s podcast and heard the news. I’ve been a loyal follower for many years and am wishing you a very speedy recovery. I’ve finally left Chicago, after 30 years, but I can’t let go of your podcasts and columns. You are a brilliant gem and I’m hopeful that all of the positive healing wishes coming your way help you shine brightly again soon. All the best!

  79. John:

    We have been dealing with family health problems the past two weeks. I just took some time to get caught up on columns the past two weeks. I was aware of the shoulder problems; the heart ‘discovery’ floored me. I, too, will be undergoing a heart procedure at Northwestern on January 31st – nothing as potentially serious as yours, but, for me, it’s not something to take lightly.
    I have been a subscriber almost since day one shortly after I cancelled my subscription to the “paper’.
    I am a Polish-American daily Mass attending Roman Catholic who believes in the power of prayer. You and Betty and the boys have been added to my daily prayer list.
    I have posted once before in your comments section that the four people with whom I would like to share a cup of coffee are / wer – Vin Scully, Thomas Sowell, Denis Prager and John Kass. Well, I missed Vin Scully (RIP), Thomas Sowell (probably not), Dnnis Prager (met him once -no coffee), but John Kass (maybe one day at your friend’s place in Downers Grove, since JC’s is a memory).
    Either way, best wishes for a full recovery. we need you, my friend. God Bless You!

  80. Through the intercession of St John of God, the patron saint of heart patients, may you recover quickly. Divine Providence, such a beautiful thing. Be well.

  81. John,

    I can tell you from experience (6 months ago 3X bypass) that you will be good again. It was tough in the beginning but 7 weeks after I was in Disney World with my grandkids.

    God look out for you and thank him for giving you the warning !

  82. Thank you for letting us know how you are doing in the podcast (good to hear your voice)! Obviously, so many have been anxious and concerned for you and your family — continued prayers for your recovery. Be well, friend.

  83. I am sitting here with my mom and we both just read this. We hope you have recovered well. We love your deep faith as my father the bricklayer had as well and was not afraid to share with his family.
    God Bless you and Betty.

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