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Dr. Joseph Calhoun Wheeler, III

Dr. Wheeler's Act of Heroism


My Hero

Joe passed away suddenly on March 02, 2010.
He was my hero and my best friend, touching my heart and my life deeply.
Joe cared about people and his heart was large enough to love so many, as they
loved him.
While serving as a Navy Corpsman, Joe was inspired to pursue a career in medicine.
After completing medical school and then surgical training, he opened his General and Vascular Surgery practice in Tampa. Wanting to slow down, he closed that practice to move to Brooksville where he opened a new surgical practice and became busy once again. Wanting more family time, Joe closed his office to join HPH Hospice. Always taking care of others first, be it family, friends or patients. Always touching their lives and their hearts. Always.
The love and admiration of Joe by so many was more evident than ever at his funeral service and it continues. There have always been letters, cards, gifts, and testimonials of his caring ways and they have continued. He treated all people the same, all patients the same, regardless. As a friend of Joe’s said at the service, “You didn’t hear the sermon, you saw it.” Joe was humble, quiet, unassuming, wise and strong. He lived as he believed, was true to himself and will forever be a beautiful soul. Joe is someone I have loved for many years and should aspire to emulate.
Although he would not agree, he deserves this recognition. I watched my Hero follow his heart, fulfill his dream, and leave this world a better place.
He is and always will be my true love and my Hero.


First I would like to offer my condolences, he had a life and death impact on me. I have been contemplating contacting him over the past two years and wish I had done this sooner. My first meeting with Mr. Wheeler was on the night of October 25, 1982, this was the night he spent over eight hours in surgery trying to save a life of a kid he didn’t know. I wasn’t from a fine pedigree, my family didn’t have any money to pay for such good care. I was from the projects, with no real prospects for a person like me. However, Mr. Wheeler didn’t look at any of that, I was taken to St. Joseph Hospital with three gunshot wounds, two to the back and one through the throat. Mr. Wheeler spent eight hours saving my life and rebuilding my throat and the chance to go on in life and to do something better than the life I was living. Thanks to his efforts, I went on to serve my country for twenty years, had two great children, saved a couple of lives myself, earned a Bachelorette in Education, and so much more. You his family must be very proud of his life accomplishments, and saddened that he was taken from you so soon. I wish I could have known him better, but you his family I’m sure was blessed to have lived your lives with him. Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us for brief moments. I hope your hearts will heal, but never forget. Very respectfully Larry


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