Dearborn, Mich., March 18, 2019 – Nearly one year ago, Henry Kroll, 94, a former Dearborn mailman and World War II veteran, received cardiac stents at Beaumont Hospital Dearborn after suffering a heart attack.
A year later, Kroll is now exercising in the mornings and enjoying happy hour in the evenings on the campus of his new independent living residence at Beaumont Commons, Dearborn.
His son Mike Kroll, a nurse anesthetist for 32 years at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn, formerly Oakwood, credits several factors for his dad’s amazing recovery and newfound friends.
“After our mom died, my dad lived with me for five years and then with my sister Christine DeYoung in Allen Park for four years,” said Mike Kroll, the youngest of four children that include sisters Cynthia Olind of Dearborn and Karen Laczkowski of Brighton. “After his heart attack, it was my sisters who started researching senior communities. We felt he would benefit being around more people his age and who shared his interests.”
Having visited several senior communities, Kroll’s children agreed that Beaumont Commons, Dearborn was the best fit. An added bonus was the location, only a mile from Mike Kroll’s work at the hospital. He also knew another resident, Doreen Makara, a nurse who had worked at Oakwood for 42 years.
“We had a guest apartment that was available at the time, and Mr. Kroll was able to move in directly from rehab,” said Donna Brandt, sales manager for Beaumont Commons, Dearborn. “That gave the family time to help him select an apartment and have it decorated and set up to his needs and taste.”
Another issue for Kroll was his loss of hearing, resulting from military service during World War II. A decorated veteran with three Bronze Stars, Kroll served in the artillery for the 106th Infantry Division in Europe, which included the Battle of the Bulge.
Kroll, who doesn’t like talking about the bad things that happened during the war, shared that he was one of only 17 survivors out of 107 men in his battery.Kroll’s daughters tackled the paperwork needed for Kroll to receive VA benefits, including new hearing aids.
For the Kroll children, it’s probably no surprise that their dad chooses to exercise every morning on an elliptical bike and with free weights in the community’s fitness center. He was a former champion runner and as a mailman, walked many miles on routes that included Dearborn and East Lansing, when the family had a home in Webberville.
During a recent visit with his dad, Mike Kroll sees the difference a year has made. “He was always a smiling guy but now you can see it on his face, and we can see it at dinner time when he’s talking and visiting with people.”
Henry Kroll readily agreed. He also likes his independence and ability to take the shuttle to his church at St. Kateri Catholic Church in Dearborn and doctor appointments at the VA Hospital in Detroit.
He also makes time to keep up with the close-knit family that includes eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Photo Caption: Mike Kroll, nurse anesthetist with Beaumont Hospital Dearborn, and his father Henry Kroll, resident at Beaumont Commons, Dearborn.