Dr. Cheves cared for patients’ needs, lives

Tue, 12/30/2008 - 3:35pm
By: Letters to the ...

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, I was informed through your publication of the passing of Dr. Harry L. Cheves, Jr. While my heart initially ached at this stunning news, I also found myself rejoicing at the thought of a tremendous doctor and courageous man celebrating Christmas with Jesus.

Dr. Cheves was a special human being and a one-of-a-kind physician. Some 43 years ago, he was the one who informed my mother that she was “with child” and agreed to become my primary physician, a commitment he fulfilled for the next 38 years until his retirement in 2004.

Dr. Cheves not only cared for my physical needs, but he was always interested in my life as well.

Like most youngsters, as a child, I was deathly fearful of shots. Dr. Cheves taught me to hold my nose during an injection and convinced me that it would alleviate all pain and fear.

Reluctantly, I tried it and quickly found that it worked. By the way, some 43 years later, I’m still finding success in that infamous “Cheves” remedy.

Dr. Cheves always took time with me. He was interested in my life, my education, my hobbies, my work. Inevitably, we would discuss faith, politics, and social issues during an office visit, and he always interjected a bit of his dry wit into the conversation. He treated me like a human being, not a number. He had compassion. He had patience. He had empathy.

His practice included his special partner in life, Mary. She never turned us down for an appointment. We never had to wait three months or three weeks to see the doctor. Even in the midst of flu season, with a lobby full of patients, Mary never turned me away.

As a patient, you were part of their family. You were treated with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. Your pain was their pain.

Thank you, Cheves family, for sharing your husband and dad with so many. My life is richer because of Dr. Harry L. Cheves, Jr., and we can all be guaranteed that Heaven is definitely one star brighter.

Joanie Waits Ballard

Fayetteville, Ga.

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