ETMC tree lighting celebrates physician's miraculous recovery - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETMC tree lighting celebrates physician's miraculous recovery

From East Texas Medical Center:

TYLER, TX - East Texas Medical Center Tyler will celebrate its 27th annual Christmas tree lighting on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m., with a Tyler physician who survived a life-threatening emergency.

Thaddeus Tolleson, MD, with Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A., made a miraculous recovery this year after suffering burns over 40 percent of his body during a brush fire on July 11. “My son and I drove to ETMC Tyler where the trauma team was waiting for me,” said Dr. Tolleson. “My blood pressure was 60/40 and I was going into shock. The medical team stabilized me and the last thing I remember was being placed on Air 1 for the flight to Parkland in Dallas to treat the severe burns.”

Dr. Tolleson had second degree burns on his legs, arms and face, and third degree burns on his hands. He developed pneumonia and remained on a ventilator for three weeks. For five weeks Dr. Tolleson was in ICU fighting for his life. His wife, Julie, and two children, Wes (age 13) and Cassidy (age 11), stayed with family in Dallas.

“I was told that during that time many people were praying for me,” added Dr. Tolleson. “People brought my family food, took care of our house and showed us how much they cared about us. That really meant a lot. I have no doubt that God's power and the prayers of so many people are what healed me and that's the reason I'm alive today. By all rights, I shouldn't be here. My recovery is the closest thing to a miracle I've been involved in.”

“As a cardiologist I am used to helping people every day with their healthcare and didn't expect to be on the receiving end of someone saving my life,” said Dr. Tolleson. “I want to thank my ETMC emergency department team, Air 1, Tyler CVC, Glenwood Church of Christ, and all of my family, friends and others who helped care for me and my family during this time. I am grateful to be back at work and seeing patients, and during this holiday season am reminded of what truly matters in life.”

Performing holiday music at the tree lighting will be the Grace Community High School choir, the “The Cougar Chorale,” under the direction of Susan Boylan. Also, a flute quartet called “Serenity” will play Christmas carols. This group is from the award-winning Canton High School marching band and features Savannah Ellis, Erin Milligan, Riley Milligan and Madison Fowler.

Santa and two of his real reindeer will greet children on the front lawn of the hospital from 5-6:45 p.m. If you would like to have a photo, please bring your own camera. The tree lighting ceremony will begin around 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

This is the fifth year for ETMC to use its living Christmas tree, which was planted as part of the Tree Tyler initiative, created by former Mayor Barbara Bass to promote tree conservation. Each year, an ETMC-related patient with a special story serves as the hospital's tree lighting ambassador.

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