Dr. Joe Graham

Joe GrahamI received this photo yesterday from Mark Graham titled, "My Dad in his prime."  Mark is at the bed side of his dad, world famous Cardiovascular Surgeon, Dr. Joseph Graham of Joplin, Mo.  Dr. Graham is entering Hospice care, but still has some verbal communication skills as his brain tumor growth increases daily. Over the past two years he has fought gallantly to survive utilizing the greatest efforts modern medicine could provide.

His fame as a heart surgeon was world wide.  I once called him and a wealthy Arabian Sheik had come to Joplin for his renown heart surgery.  They came from everywhere to have his brilliantly trained fingers do the microscopic details that provided life for hundreds during his strenuous career.  He was known for his ability to perfectly do stitching in seconds when every second counted.

Joe and his wife Cynthia were raised near San Antonio. He started his famous medical practice in Joplin and promptly started raising Texas Longhorn cattle.  His small herd in the late seventies grew to the current several hundred.  His research of Texas Longhorn beef was a pioneering effort whereby he recommended his recovering heart patients eat lean Longhorn beef to increase heart health and healing. He often said, hearts are made of lean muscle, why not eat lean beef to heal heart cells.

Joe planned to raise the best Texas Longhorn cattle possible.  Early on he decided to AI his cows to the top bulls for rapid improvement.  Instead of employing an AI technician, Joe decided to do it himself.  I told him his hands were of such great value in the sewing of meticulous heart valves, he should not be wrestling with cows in a chute.  No -- instead he wanted to learn AI himself -- and do it himself.  We invited him to spend a few days at the Dickinson Cattle Co Inc embryo transfer program while it was in full swing, during the early eighties.  He, being a surgeon, promptly learned the correct process of AI.

Excited, Joe started to AI his cows to the top bulls and within a month broke a finger when a cow sat on his arm. I ask what he would do with a broken finger that was needed to sew during surgery and to my surprise he continued his regular surgery schedule and 'did not tell his patients.'  He said the pain was excruciating, but he never missed a stitch.

As these top cattle started to be born Joe and Cynthia and their family started showing.  They, as a family won several World Championships.  They had a class-family and were an honor to the industry.

Joe and Cynthia called their ranch Mi Tierra, meaning "my land" in Spanish. They are members of TLBAA and ITLA.

As of this day a fancy young bull who will be registered as "Mr. Joe" is donated to the ITLA Youth program and will be auctioned at the annual Mo-Kan TL sale.  Joe has been a supporter of the industry and the youth for ever.

Please remember Dr. Joseph Graham in your prayers, and his family, as he proceeds into hospice care.


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