Shriners Hospital for Children: Moved By Doctor's Care For Boy, Houston Attorney Donates To Charity To Help Burned Children

Jan 26, 1998, 00:00 ET from Shriners Hospitals for Children

    GALVESTON, Texas, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- An unassuming, beautifully
 engraved plaque now greets patients and their families, visitors, and staff as
 they enter the lobby of the Galveston Hospital of Shriners Hospitals for
 Children.  Its formal appearance and carefully selected words probably won't
 mean much to the children that benefit most from the gift it commemorates.
 But translated into free medical care, it means getting the best treatment
 possible for burn injuries without worrying about the cost.
     The inscription reads: "The Krist/Mlakar Endowment for Burned Children has
 been made possible by the substantial gift of Carole and Ronald Krist.  This
 endowment is to perpetually recognize the compassionate and dedicated medical
 contributions to burned children by Joseph Mlakar, M.D."
     Ronald Krist, a Houston attorney who practices law with his sons Scott and
 Kevin, represented a 3-year-old boy who was horribly burned when his family's
 pick-up truck was hit on the driver's side and the spilled fuel exploded into
 flame.  He sustained burns over 70 percent of his body.  His long, arduous
 recovery was a succession of surgeries and healing and physical therapy and
 more surgeries and more healing and more therapy.  He underwent ten surgeries
 during his initial admission and has been readmitted seven more times in the
 last three years.  He will continue regular visits and admissions until he
 reaches adulthood.
     Mr. Krist and his son, Scott, worked on the case for 2 1/2 years. "Scotty
 worked almost exclusively on the case," Krist said.  "When Scotty took Dr.
 Mlakar's deposition, we were so moved by his God-like love for the children
 that we wanted to do what we could.  The seven-figure settlement couldn't even
 begin to alleviate what that little boy had to endure.  We waived our fee and
 our $400,000 of out of pocket expense, but it still didn't seem adequate."  So
 Krist and his wife, Carole, decided to make a more positive and lasting
     They established the Krist/Mlakar Endowment with a $1 million cash
 contribution.  The interest and earnings on the fund will be used exclusively
 for the benefit of the Galveston Shriners Hospital.  This endowment will be
 the focus of Mr. Krist's future philanthropic efforts, and he will encourage
 his colleagues and friends to join him in his noble effort.  The endowment
 will be an ever increasing source of funds to help provide free medical care
 for children who have suffered burn injuries. Krist is also hopeful that the
 endowment demonstrates the good works of lawyers.
     The Krist/Mlakar Endowment for Burned Children not only honors Dr. Mlakar,
 it ensures that his love and his dedication will be felt by countless children
 whose tragedies bring them to the Galveston Shriners Hospital.
     Joseph M. Mlakar, M.D. practiced at the Shriners Hospital from 1994 to
 1996 as Director of the Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate Program.  He also assisted
 Robert McCauley, M.D., Chief of Plastics, with reconstructive surgery cases.
 He currently practices at Plastic Surgery Associates in Fort Wayne.
     The Galveston Shriners Hospital is one of four burn hospitals operated by
 Shriners Hospitals for Children.  The Galveston hospital has provided
 treatment to more than 10,000 children since it opened in 1966.  In addition
 to treatment of burn injuries, it provides treatment for cleft palate,
 cranial/facial deformities, and hemangioma and portwine birth marks.
     The Galveston Hospital, like the other 21 Shriners hospitals, provides
 medical care to children up to their 18th birthday, regardless of their race,
 religion or relationship to a Shriner.  All care at Shriners Hospitals is
 provided totally without cost to the patient, parent or any third party.
 Shriners Hospitals are funded through the Shriners Hospitals for Children
 Endowment fund, which is maintained through gifts, bequests and contributions
 from Shriners, the public and generous individuals like the Krists.

SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children