Dr. Henry Giragos was a man born to heal and pray — often at the same time.
Both virtues were so strong that he was known as, "The Praying Physician," said his daughter, Renee Giragos.
"He would pray with every patient before surgery, regardless of race, creed or background."
Dr. Henry G. Giragos, 78, of Munster, died Aug. 19.
He performed many surgeries, including more than 5,000 open heart procedures, said his wife of more than 46 years, Jeanette Giragos.
A pioneer in the cardiovascular surgery program at Community Hospital in Munster, he co-headed the Cardiovascular Services Department from 1995-2010.
Jeanette Giragos said her husband never charged for surgeries involving his pastor, friends — or patients who had no money.
People came from everywhere to seek his opinion — and he was always right, his wife fondly recalled.
"He was a very strong witness for Christ," Renee Giragos said. "That was the thrust of his life."
Giragos, who was born in Syria, felt the touch of God en route to the beach in Beirut, Lebanon, at age 19. Later that day, he was baptized in the Mediterranean Sea.
Giragos' sister-in-law, Tamara LaFoe, said one word best describes him: heart. That is because he was close to the heart of God and those of his patients.
Giragos' nephew, Edward Veisberg, said he always put his patients in God's hands.
"It was very, very important to him to lead people to Christ," Jeanette Giragos said.
Giragos had a way of making everyone feel better, his wife said. He was equally nice to every person he met whether they had a stethoscope around their neck or a broom in their hands.
"God gave me the best," she proudly said.