Rob Kendall and Nancy Hamon perused the silent auction items during the cocktail hour preceding dinner.
Approximately $290,000 was raised from this event, which is a great accomplish- ment. Above all, ticket sales, sponsorships and the community’s excitement for this event all increased from previous years.
“Through the hard work of many, this event was a huge success for the Parkinson’s program and the Special Care Nursery at PHD,” said Mark H. Merrill, president of PHD. “Just as important as the monies raised, the Greer Garson Gala was a huge success in spreading the word about the quality of care and programs provided at this fine hospital. If we gained one new community friend from this event, we have achieved our goal.”
With more than 550 people in attendance on April 16, one might say the goal was achieved with exceptional success!
P R E S B Y T E R I A N H E A LT H C A R E F O U N D AT I O N
The E. E. and Greer Garson Fogelson Humanitarian Award was created to rec- ognize a person, or persons, who have shown a concern for the greater awareness of Parkinson’s disease. It is presented each year at the Greer Garson Gala. This year, Malcolm Stewart, M.D., neurologist on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (PHD) received the E. E. and Greer Garson Fogelson Humanitarian Award for his support and dedication to helping to “ease the burden and find a cure” for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Stewart serves as the medical director of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) Information & Referral Center at PHD and has worked tirelessly to provide guidance, support and services that benefit countless patients in North Texas. Dr. Stewart’s patients revere him as a truly gifted physician, and one particular Parkinson’s patient, Mitch Lechelt, shared his story with us.
Mitch Lechelt, a retired American Airlines captain who is married with two children, was a mere 36 years old when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. An avid guitarist and airline pilot, Mr. Lechelt was devastated to receive his diagnosis. Upon beginning his treatment with Malcolm Stewart, M.D. in 1993, Mr. Lechelt said he felt he was in the most competent of hands and he had hope that Dr. Stewart would be able to help him.
“Dr. Stewart is the best doctor in the world as far as I’m concerned,” said Mr. Lechelt.
In October of 2004, Michael Desaloms, M.D., neurosurgeon on the medical staff at PHD, and his team performed Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery on Mr. Lechelt. He described the effects of this surgery as “tremendous” and “life-changing.” DBS is performed through the implantation of an electrode containing four electrical contacts in the Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) of the brain. This high frequency stimulation of the STN has become the neurosurgical treatment of choice in the alleviation of the cardi- nal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease patients for whom medication does not provide relief, according to Dr. Stewart.
“I’m not able to go back to flying, but I am able to play my guita , which is a love of mine. I know that I am very blessed to have quality physicians and health care staff in my hometown to treat this disease,” said Mr. Lechelt. “When I was in the hospital for the DBS procedure, I felt like I was the only patient there. The caregivers were so attentive and made the experience a positive one for me and my family. As far as I’m concerned, nobody compares to Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.”
For more information about the APDA Information & Referral Center at PHD or the Parkinson’s disease program, call 214/345-4224.
(Left to right) Jerry Wells, with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA), Dr. Malcolm Stewart and Fred Greene, with the APDA, on stage following the announcement of Dr. Stewart as the 2005 recipient of the annual E.E. and Greer Garson Fogelson Humanitarian Award.