Amazing Medicine

Delbert D. McBee, Springfield, Oregon

Longest-surviving patient of triple bypass coronary surgery

For something to be included in The Guinness Book of World Records, you know it has to be amazing. Like when, on April 24, 2004, Karl Dølven, age 106, and Gudren Dølven, age 103, of Hole, Norway, became the oldest married couple in the world in aggregate age (a combined 210 years and 65 days).

Or when, at age 85, Delbert D. McBee of Springfield, Oregon, became the longest-surviving patient of triple bypass coronary surgery. A trucker by trade, McBee unwittingly began his long haul toward a world record on Dec. 20, 1973, at the age of 49. That’s when he turned to Dr. Stan Baldwin and his team at Sacred Heart to ease the crushing pain in his chest. McBee spent six hours undergoing what at the time was pioneering open-heart surgery at Sacred Heart, and he credits Baldwin’s efforts with making a very special meeting possible.

"The hospital, Dr. Baldwin and his team were wonderful. They took the pain away," McBee said." Thanks to Sacred Heart, I got to see my first grandson right after my surgery. That meant the world to me.”

His second grandson, Chuck, had a hand in McBee’s entry in The Guinness Book of World Records on April 25, 2007.

"I would have never known if it weren’t for my grandson, who received a Guinness Book of World Records as a gift for Christmas. When he read that a man in the UK held the record, he yelled excitedly, ‘Grandpa, you beat him!’”

With the help of his neighbor, Tina, McBee got his world record certificate. And thanks to Dr. Baldwin and Sacred Heart, Delbert and his wife of 63 years are still gaining on Karl and Gudren Dølven.

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