Letter to the Editor

Dr. Kasten gave me a normal life

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

To the editor:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Melvin Kasten. It is by the grace of God and the medical expertise of Dr. Kasten that I am able to write this letter today.

At the age of 5, in 1960, my skull was severely crushed in a freak accident. Dr. Kasten performed the surgery that not only saved my life, but allowed me to live a normal life. Following my release from the hospital, Dr. Kasten referred me to a neurosurgeon in St. Louis to determine whether placement of a steel plate in my head was needed. Upon review of the post-accident X-rays, the neurosurgeon commented to my parents that the surgery performed by Dr. Kasten was "the most expert piece of surgery" he'd ever seen performed.

I'll never forget a football game against Cape Central in Charleston in 1972. I suffered a severe ankle sprain and was assisted to the locker room. Within minutes, I noticed someone enter the locker room, and it was none other than Dr. Kasten coming in to check on my well-being.

The last time I talked with him was during one of his stays in the hospital when my father happened to be hospitalized. I told him he was one of my heroes, and I could see a tear come to his eye. I thank God we got to have that conversation, and I thank God for Dr. Melvin Kasten.


Mississippi County Clerk

Charleston, Mo.