Patient Experience

Looking Back Thinking Ahead

George Balliet's major gift will further strengthen the Houston Methodist Department of Urology.
full-circle health journey leads to estate gift
George Balliet cannot remember his very first encounter with Houston Methodist because he was only 4 months old, but it made an impact on his life. The care he received for a urologic condition put him on a path toward healing.
“My history with Houston Methodist is unique and special,” Balliet says. “Those early experiences made a positive impression on my family, and that relationship built over time as I had a decade-long series of surgeries. The continuity of care I’ve received from Houston Methodist for almost 60 years is extraordinary.”
Urologic diseases, disorders, and conditions — ranging from kidney stones to urinary tract infections — affect millions of people of all ages and may lead to impaired quality of life, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. For Balliet, his health issues remained resolved from 1974 to 2017. Then, he began experiencing what he calls “more adventures from that health history.” After much research and insurance negotiation, he was initially approved for care at both Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic.
However, he discovered that Dr. Rose Khavari — professor of urology in the Houston Methodist Academic Institute and a leader in neuro-urology and pelvic reconstructive surgery — had the most cutting-edge knowledge, research, and skills to address his health complications. He chose Houston Methodist.
“Dr. Khavari is outstanding,” says Balliet. “She is thorough, compassionate, and supportive. Dr. Khavari and her staff have helped me thrive and enjoy excellent health and a fantastic lifestyle. For patients who have a medical history that is primarily urological, the quality-of-life aspect matters a lot.”
He recently made a planned gift to Houston Methodist that reflects his gratitude to his favorite physician and her team for their excellent care and specialized expertise.
“This estate gift allows me to support Houston Methodist and pass on my own good fortune, and I hope it also inspires others to do so,” Balliet says. “Houston Methodist has been important to me my entire life, and I know it will continue to be a world-class institution with world-class research well into the future.”
Balliet’s grandparents helped him gain an early diagnosis. His grandfather was a thoracic surgeon, and his grandmother was a nurse. Balliet’s parents drove from Austin to Houston to seek specialized care at Houston Methodist.
“My grandmother was the one who first noticed my symptoms,” says Balliet. “My grandfather had a colleague at Houston Methodist who accepted me as a patient from Austin and made sure I had the best care possible.”
In the most recent round of care by Dr. Khavari, Balliet has traveled from San Antonio, where he has lived since 1999.
“It is quite an experience to look down at the original Houston Methodist Hospital building from Dr. Khavari’s office in Scurlock Tower while knowing the legacy of care I’ve received since I was a baby,” says Balliet. “Very few people are fortunate enough to have all the stars align when it matters most.”