Forget house calls: Zach Miller's barber makes a hospital visit

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller's extended hospitalization left him needing a little pick-me-up.

Miller has been surrounded by family and friends in both New Orleans- and Chicago-area hospitals on an almost daily basis since he suffered a dislocated left knee against the Saints on Oct. 29 that required emergency vascular surgery to repair a damaged artery.

Once Miller’s leg condition stabilized, the 33-year-old, who likes to keep his hair and beard meticulously groomed, wanted things to get a little closer back to normal.

To help with that, Miller contacted his personal barber and friend Lawrence Funk, who had paid house calls to Miller every two weeks for six months prior to the injury.

“Do you make hospital calls?” Miller wrote to Funk in a text message.

Cutting hair inside a hospital room was brand new for Funk, who counts Mitchell Trubisky, Jay Cutler, Pat O'Donnell and Connor Barth among his football clients, but he agreed to give it a try.

“Zach told me his hair is looking crazy and that he had to see me soon,” Funk said with a laugh on Thursday. “So my wife and I drove out there to see him. When I got there, his hair was overgrown and his beard was out of control.”

This wasn’t your typical appointment, though.

“We took a sheet and pretty much covered his body up,” Funk said. “The good thing was he was scheduled to switch beds that night or the next day. So we covered him with the sheet and then used my cape but didn’t hook it behind him. So we just kind of placed the cape over his shoulders. I cut one side of his hair, and then I had to stop and move all my equipment to the other side.

“It’s definitely different cutting hair in a hospital.”

Funk, who co-owns Funk’s Barbershop with his wife, Alena, in downtown Chicago, observed Miller to be in good spirits.

On the day of Funk’s visit, Bears quarterback Mark Sanchez swung by the hospital to check on Miller.

“He seems great,” Funk said of Miller. “He’s ready to come home, obviously. I think having all these people come support him has really, really helped. I just talked to him about an hour ago. He’s got one more surgery and he should be coming home.”