Randy McIlwain, NBCDFW.com
Colleagues of renowned burn surgeon Dr. Gary Purdue remember him for helping patients heal emotionally and physically.
Dr. Gary Purdue, chief of the burn section at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and co-director of the Parkland Memorial Hospital burn unit in Dallas for 22 years, has died in a motorcycle crash. He was 65.
A Dallas police report said Purdue died Sunday when a car slammed into the motorcycle he was driving on a north Dallas street Sunday morning. The crash happend in the 10400 block of Royal Club Lane. No arrest was made, but the police report shows the car's driver under investigation for possibly being intoxicated.
"Dr. Purdue was an outstanding clinician, educator and role model," said Dr. Bruce Meyer, executive vice president for health system affairs at UT Southwestern. "This is a truly tragic, senseless loss for not only his family and the UT Southwestern and Parkland communities, but also for the citizens of North Texas and all the thousands of patients whose lives he touched."
According to a UT Southwestern statement, Purdue was a past president of the American Burn Association and a burn specialist who was instrumental in leading the Parkland burn unit to national prominence. The unit is one of the nation's largest and treats almost 1,000 burn patients a year.
In addition to his medical interests, Dr. Purdue and his wife aided the Gladney Center for Adoption by caring for 39 infants awaiting adoption, according to UT Southwestern. Dr. Purdue was a devoted husband and father. He is survived by his wife, Laurel, of 32 years; daughter, Heather; sons, Ian, Keith and Kyle; grandson, Luke; and two additional grandchildren expected in the next six months. He planned to retire in a few years.