We sent flowers.
When we learned he was out of danger, I followed up with a telegram.
STEERING COMMITTEE REGRETFULLY MET WITHOUT YOU YESTERDAY STOP WE PASSED MOTION OFFICIALLY WISHING YOU COMPLETE SPEEDY RECOVERY STOP VOTE WAS SIX TO THREE STOP COLON HYPHEN RIGHTPAREN
OK, I think that's funny. Better than my joke, though, was the way Western Union calculated the cost. Messages longer than 26 words are judged "long," and cost more per word. We got the cheaper rate, though. The "smiley" didn't count, because "punctuation is free."
All that's missing now is a new pair of UNIX utilities to convert messages to emoticons, and vice versa. Can you see the possibilities?