St. Louis, MO (KPLR) – Two years ago, Dr. Dan Luedke was nearly killed in an automobile accident. He had ten broken ribs, a bruised lung, a fractured wrist and a frantic wife.
‘She wanted to get on the helicopter with me and was very mad,’ says Oncologist, Dr. Dan Luedke. ‘I thought to myself, `My goodness this woman really does love me` cause she is terrified of helicopters and fearful of heights.’
He was airlifted to a hospital where his wife, also a doctor, stood watch. She noticed he was having problems breathing.
‘Probably saved my life because had I been sedated I may have stopped breathing all together,’ says Dr. Luedke. ‘That there is my guardian angel and I just wanted to give my guardian angel something back.’
He knew Dr. Susan was a board member of Dance St. Louis, so he called executive director Michale Uhtoff and proposed an idea.
‘Started working trying to figure out what someone who likes dance would like for their birthday and it turned out to be a ballet,’ says Dr. Susan Luedke, also an Oncologist.
The finished piece, ‘Square One’ will make it`s world premiere this Friday, on Susan`s 65th birthday.
‘He told me a month ago on a family vacation stunned I was totally blown away,’ recalls Dr. Susan.
The Santa Fe ballet will perform the work at the Touhill with costumes created by Project Runway all star designer Austin Scarlett.
‘Our daughter said she fell off the chair when he told her what he was doing,’ says Dr. Susan.
It`s safe to say, this gift sure beats that one birthday a few years back.
‘A knife sharpener,’ says Dr. Susan.
‘Yeah I thought that was a great gift,’ deadpans Dr. Dan. ‘Everybody needs to sharpen a knife.’
This year is also the Luedke`s 40th anniversary. So what`s the prescription for a great gift and happy marriage?
‘Creativity,’ says Dr. Susan. ‘Know your significant other. Care enough to work at it. All those things that he did.’
‘I must say you make the rest of us look pretty bad,’ says Patrick Clark.
‘Well tough luck fella,’ says Dr. Dan.