Hospital visit from Joe Wieskamp like a dream for 89-year-old Hawkeye fan

Photo courtesy of Amber Flambeau Schierberg's Facebook page.

By Tyler Devine

IOWA CITY, Iowa – It’s hard to tell who is having a better week, Iowa freshman guard Joe Wieskamp or Muscatine native Verna Satterthwaite.

Most would probably argue Satterthwaite after the 89-year-old received a surprise visit from Wieskamp, the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, on Tuesday at the University of Iowa Hospital.

Wieskamp, who also is a native of Muscatine, made quite the impression on Satterthwaite during the roughly half-hour long visit.

“I was sitting in that chair over there falling asleep and I opened my eyes and I thought I was dreaming,” Satterthwaite said. “I really did, because there was Joe. Why would Joe come and see me? He didn’t know me. He met me once but I don’t know if he even remembered that. It was at a graduation party. He sat across the table from me and I said ‘you’re Joe Wieskamp aren’t you?’ You can really recognize him.”

For Wieskamp, the visit served as a reminder of the kind of impact that he and his teammates can have with the platform that they are given.

Just two days after Satterthwaite’s granddaughter posted the photo of her and Wieskamp on Facebook it had already been shared over 2,000 times.

“We’re kind of put on a stage,” Wieskamp said during a press conference on Wednesday. “The best thing to do is use that to the best of our ability and try to help others out. It’s crazy that 20 minutes, 30 minutes out of my day could impact that person’s life so much as well as everyone else that saw it.

“To me it’s just the right thing to do. I didn’t expect anything to happen because of it. Obviously it means a lot to her and her family and people around the community too.”

In just 30 minutes, Wieskamp provided Satterthwaite and her family with a lifetime of memories.

“He’s a big famous basketball player so I was really thrilled that he came, took the time and stopped to see me,” Satterthwaite said. “I know he probably had to be at practice or something but he was just awfully nice to me.”

When asked what was more exciting, her family coming from all around to see her or Wieskamp’s visit, Satterthwaite had some trouble deciding.

“I can’t say that in front of my family,” Satterthwaite said. “They’re different, that’s two different questions.”

Satterthwaite said that she is hoping to be released from the hospital on Friday.