Dennis Huss: Back on the courts, thanks to successful surgery

When Dennis Huss was wheeled into our state-of-the-art operating room in February 2018, the trim, tanned tennis player appeared to be in the peak of health. But the 6.5 cm aneurysm in his iliac artery told a different story. Without surgery, it could burst at any point, leaving him with a 50:50 chance of survival.

That’s why he found himself at Guelph General, which serves as the regional centre for vascular services in Waterloo/Wellington. Before the anesthesia took hold, he looked up at the team of medical professionals in their gowns and masks around him and said, “I know you’re going to do a great job.”

They certainly did.

Thanks to the skills of the surgical team — and to the cutting-edge medical equipment funded through generous community donations — the operation was a complete success. “I feel blessed that I had great surgeons like Dr. Nasser,” Dennis says.

However, the top-quality care didn’t end there. Dennis has nothing but praise for the staff who were there throughout his post-op recovery — from the social workers who ensured his wife Elizabeth got the support she needed, to the nurses who brought him apple juice at 2:00 in the morning when hunger pangs hit.

“You have a team of professionals that are second to none,” says Dennis, citing their hard work, compassion and understanding. “They see you as a person and they want you to get better.”

When Dennis got discharged, he and Elizabeth decided it was their turn to help. They knew how much Guelph General relies on donations for everything from the portable ECG machines used to monitor his recovery to the comfy chair beside his bed where Elizabeth spent so many hours. When they got home, he wrote a cheque to The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital.

The gesture came as no surprise to those who know Dennis. A big believer in giving back and performing random acts of kindness, he brought a stack of Tim Hortons cards to hand out during his hospital stay.

Meanwhile, as a financial advisor for more than 20 years, Dennis knows a good investment when he sees one. With their donation, he and Elizabeth are ensuring that our professionals have the tools to give our patients the highest standard of care.

Today, Dennis is making the most of life. Soon after his surgery he was back on the tennis court and even officiated at the Rogers Cup. He and Elizabeth took a trip on the trans-Siberian railway this fall, and in December, they’ll be celebrating their 56th Christmas together.

“Life is good,” he says — thanks to the stellar team at Guelph General.