Cubs Usher, 88, Thanks Hospital For Getting Him To Ring Ceremony

CHICAGO (CBS) — An 88-year-old man who just started his 19th season as an usher for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field got his World Series ring, but it almost didn’t happen.

Since he was a kid, Don Vlcek has been a Cubs fan. He said he used to clean the bleachers to get free tickets.

Now, at the age of 88, he is an usher. WBBM”s Steve Miller reports.

And when Vlcek received news he was receiving a World Series ring…

“It got my heart ticking. Faster,” he laughs.

don and ring Cubs Usher, 88, Thanks Hospital For Getting Him To Ring Ceremony

Don Vlcek with his World Series ring. (Credit: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital)

And it was Vlcek’s heart that gave him problems two weeks ago. Vlcek woke up sweating and his grandson rushed him to the ER at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

Cardiologist Dr. Ray Kawasaki said Vlcek’s arrhythmia was life-threatening.

Doctors originally scheduled Vleck for a procedure to put in a defibrillator on Monday, April 17, but that was the same day Vlcek was supposed to get his ring.

ring 4 Cubs Usher, 88, Thanks Hospital For Getting Him To Ring Ceremony

Don Vlcek’s World Series ring he received from working as an usher at Wrigley Field. (Credit: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital)

Dr. Kawasaki, also a Cubs fan, understood.

“Hey, he can’t miss this ring ceremony,” Dr. Kawasaki said. “And we have to do something to get him out of the hospital so he can make it to the ceremony.”

don and team Cubs Usher, 88, Thanks Hospital For Getting Him To Ring Ceremony

Don Vlcek with the team that helped him. From left to right, Dr. John Sage, Physician and longtime friend; Jeff Goldfarb, Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist; Don Vlcek; Toni Bartels, Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist; Dr. Ray Kawasaki, Electrophysiologist (Credit: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital)

So, doctors and nurses scheduled the procedure early, on what’s usually their day off – Saturday. And Vlcek got his ring at the ceremony.

“I feel great,” he said. “I’m ready to run around the block. But they won’t let me. Not yet.”

Vlcek returned to visit the doctors and nurses that helped him make it to his special day, to say thanks.

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