A Houston doctor known for pioneering pain management for terminal cancer patients loses his own battle with cancer, but as NEWS 92 FM’s Norm Uhl tells us, he went out living life to its fullest.
Dr. Richard Patt was no stranger to struggle, while pioneering pain management for cancer patients at M.D. Anderson, he became addicted to prescription drugs and lost his medical license.
Dr. Patt went into rehab, got clean and sober and fought his way back, working at a coffee shop until he could be approved to practice medicine once again. He started his own successful practice and in his spare time he played music, sitting in with Houston bands as often as his schedule allowed.
Then in 2012, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He’d see firsthand how debilitating radiation and chemotheraphy could be and decided he didn’t want to spend in final days that way. So he laid down his stethoscope and picked up his guitar.
He booked as many gigs as he could, played several gigs every week with his band Fool’s Paradise. He also continued to attend the shows of his favoriteHouston musicians and sat in on guitar.
He played music right up to the end, playing his last set at the Big East last Wednesday. He died peacefully Sunday morning with his wife, Pauline, at his side. In dying, Dr. Rick left an example of how to live.
He knew better than most that life is short, and he decided to go out on his own terms, doing what he loved.
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