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West Seneca doctor who helped to create pacemaker is turning 100 years old

Dr. Andrew Gage, Dr. William Chardack, and engineer Wilson Greatbatch contributed to the medical invention. Chardack passed in 2006, while Greatbach died in 2011.

WEST SENECA, N.Y. — Time is everything and Dr. Andrew Gage knows how to use it wisely. 

The soon-to-be 100-year-old was part of the "Bow Tie Gang" in 1960.

"We worked on the pacemaker," Gage said. 

A surgeon at the Buffalo VA, Gage worked alongside Dr. William Chardack and engineer Wilson Greatbatch, both of whom have since died, to develop the device that would tell someone's heart when to beat. 

"It was pretty big in the beginning, but then we gradually changed the size to be smaller," Gage said. 

Since then, patients around the world have gotten more time with their loved ones.

"It kept them loving them," Gage said. 

That includes Gage's grandsons, Joe and Michael Wind. 

"My dad's mother, my Grandma Wind, she required a pacemaker. She was somewhere in her late 80s," Joe Wind said. "So it was kind of interesting to have them at the family table. We had one person who just got a pacemaker, and the other person at the table who had a hand in creating that pacemaker."

But Gage continued to give patients what they needed most beyond the pacemaker. 

In 1964 he started working on how to freeze tumors, traveling the world to teach his techniques and treat patients. 

He eventually ended up at Roswell Park and retired in 1994, after a 30-year-career that all began because a University at Buffalo professor sent him a letter.

"(They) invited me to join the medical school," Gage said. 

Added Michael Wind: "We're really proud of him and what he's accomplished and super excited to see what the next 100 years are going to bring."

Gage continued to write in medical journals until sometime in his 80s. 

Nowadays Gage, who's 1 of 10 with the name "Andrew" in his family, is enjoying the rest of his time with his children, 13 grandchildren, and 22 grandkids, with another on the way. 

"We feel very blessed that he's not only in great health, but so close that we can spend a lot of time with him in this stage in his life," Michael Wind said. 

The West Seneca native is still spending his time the way he should.

He's not regretting a thing about a century well lived. 

"No," Gage said. "I lived a full life."

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