When Dr. Rex Nzeribe looked at his schedule August 16, the name of Merrill Douglass grabbed his attention. A few weeks prior, Douglass celebrated his birthday as he turned 101. Dr. Nzeribe wanted to make sure he recognized the special day. Along with his office staff, the Centegra Physician Care doctor displayed a sign that read “Happy Birthday” and gave Douglass a donut as a special birthday treat.
The doctor-patient relationship is important in any case, but Dr. Nzeribe considers his relationship with Douglass extra-special. The Woodstock resident is his oldest patient and one of the most active at his age.Douglass has been Dr. Nzeribe’s patient since early 2010 and has regular check-ups every three to six months.”The routine check-ups are a way to keep him healthy in order to avoid any unnecessary emergencies,” said Dr. Nzeribe. Dr. Nzeribe added, “Taking care of the elderly is a team effort. In order to know the patients, it is important to know the family members. Better understanding ultimately leads to better treatment.”
Douglass has been a patient of Centegra Health System since 2005 when a pacemaker was planted in his heart. His daughter Janet has been accompanying him for the majority of medical visits to Centegra.”We really like how Centegra is close to home,” said Janet. “Even if Merrill does like to travel!” Age is just a number for the grandfather of 35 grandchildren. That is evident by a trip to the Grand Canyon with family members in May, regular trips to Chicago and recent visits to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock.”I’m good,” Douglass simply stated. “I just take one day at a time.”