Letter: Lucky to call Steadman a friend | VailDaily.com

Letter: Lucky to call Steadman a friend

Dr. Richard Steadman’s passing reminds us not only of his lasting impact on orthopedics but on the many who called him “friend.” As a native of Tahoe, my family befriended the Steadmans as soon as Dick opened his practice in South Shore in 1970. My parents, David and Betty Gay, shared innumerable glasses of (only) the finest wines with the Steadmans over the years! When “Steady” operated on my shoulder (yes — shoulder!) in 1981 and then on my daughter Missy’s ACL in 1988, what we received was not just Steady’s genius, but exceptional care by a brilliant team of nurses, PTs and researchers.

The core of that original Tahoe team — Cristal Adams, Shirley Carlson, John Atkins, Topper Hagerman, Annette Fulstone and John McMurtry — all moved to Vail with Steady to build, with Dr. Richard Hawkins, the renowned Steadman Hawkins Clinic.

Together, this pioneering duo built an international community of grateful patients. The bond that my family forged in Tahoe would come full circle when, in 1992, Steady hired Missy in clinical research. He and “Hawk” would later bring her in as their executive assistant. Under the leadership of Steady and Hawk, the whole Vail team was like family.

In 2006, after Hawk had left Vail to build an expanded practice back East, Steady looked at my tattered shoulder and proclaimed, “Well, it lasted a quarter of a century! You need to go see Hawk now!” And I did. Hawk performed my shoulder replacement at The Steadman Hawkins Clinic of The Carolinas.

Vail, and the world, were enriched by the partnership of these iconic world-class physicians and world-class men. Hawk carried that legacy beyond Vail, and it’s a legacy that lives on through everyone Steady touched, his fellow physicians as well as patients and friends.

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Dede Brinkman

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