Medical office surprises 100-year-old patient on his birthday

Medical office surprises 100-year-old patient on his birthday

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Thomas Leo Chappelear was shocked when he realized he was not going to a regular dialysis appointment on Wednesday.

The office was turned into a 100-year time capsule, showcasing pictures and posters celebrating his life, and everything he has experienced since he was born on Aug. 24, 1916.

"How do I feel? No different than yesterday... 99," Chappelear laughed.

Kidding aside, he said he would have never expected to see 100.

"I didn't think I'd be on my feet today," Chappelear said.

He owes it all to those who made the surprise party happen, the staff at Fresenius Medical Care.

"I felt like blessed because I got to be a part of something so intimate, on such a day, in a place you wouldn't think you'd be able to do it, in dialysis," said Wanda Driggers, the renal travel consultant for Fresenius.

Chappelear cut into his birthday cake with the help of his daughter, Mary Jean Williams.

"He's got a personality of a funny bone," she said. "He loves to laugh, and he does."

Chappelear was all laughs and smiles as he noticed all of the pictures around the room and the lengths so many went for him.

"These people make me feel like King Tut or something," he said laughing.

However, his children said it is all for a good reason.

"It's how good of a person he is, and proves how good these people are too," Thomas Chappelear Jr. said.

"He's just a very special person, he really is. He's one in a million," Williams added.

Probably the best feeling for Chappelear was to look around the office, look back on his life and not think of a single thing that he would do differently.

"I have no regrets at all," he said. "I'd do it over again."

Chappelear planned to spend his birthday with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

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