Local dentist aids veteran in need, receives John Ratcliffe Lone Star Award

(ROCKWALL, TX – April 21, 2017) Six months ago Tom Galli – a local retired Army civil engineer and cancer survivor – came into the general practitioner’s office for his annual physical, when he noticed something wrong with the nurse performing his checkup. She had been the nurse in charge of his care 13 years ago when Galli was first diagnosed with cancer, and the two had formed a tight bond since, for she was also a military veteran battling cancer.

“The nurse was taking my temperature, blood pressure and all that stuff, and I noticed tears going down the side of her face. I asked her what was going on and she said she was in constant pain, that her gums were bleeding, her teeth were loose, and that this was a side effect of her cancer treatment,” Galli said.

Galli said because the nurse had been so good to him during his own cancer treatment, he decided to do some research and found that the Veteran Affairs Department does not offer dental treatment for side effects resulting from cancer care. “So I called my dentist, Dr. Stan Lowrance of Lowrance Dental in Rockwall, and immediately he said, ‘Text me her phone number.’ And the very next day he was engaged in helping her.”

The word ‘helping’ might be an understatement here, as Lowrance proceeded to provide thousands of hours of successful dental care for the veteran over the course of six months – and didn’t charge her a dime for it.

Congressman John Ratcliffe presented Lowrance, who’s also a member of the Rockwall Rotary Club, with the John Ratcliffe Lone Star Award at the Rotary noon meeting on Thursday, April 20. The award recognizes citizens who have done extraordinary deeds for those in need in their communities. Ratcliffe founded the award when he was elected to Congress 28 months ago, as a way to distinguish those individuals in the 18 Texas counties of the 4th Congressional District he represents. In those 28 months Ratcliffe has presented the award to a total of four individuals, including Lowrance.

The first recipient was a husband and wife who had come across a blind, homeless veteran in a parking lot. They took him in, provided him with surgery that restored his eyesight, got him a job and got him back on his feet. The second recipient was a young man from Gunter, Texas who came across a serious car accident where one of the cars was on fire, and bravely pulled a young lady out of the burning car.

The third recipient of the award was seven-year-old entrepreneur Kaden Newton of Rockwall, who provided over 20,000 pounds of kid-friendly food items to local kids in need through his nonprofit, “Mac & Cheese and Pancakes.”

“We reserve this award for people who are truly deserving, who have done truly extraordinary things,” Ratcliffe said. “The dental care which Stan provided in this case was over $15,000, for which he didn’t charge a penny. And I also know that he’s done things like this on other occasions.

“I know that the members of the Rockwall Rotary aspire to live by a four-way test, that you aspire to be good Christians and to have a servant’s heart. And so when one of your own members embodies, embraces and symbolizes that in the way he lives his life, I think that’s a person worthy of recognition and he is certainly a person worthy of the John Ratcliffe Lone Star Award.”

Galli said Lowrance is the kind of rare individual who possesses a special aptitude for his profession as a dentist and a compassionate determination to help those in need. “Stan Lowrance is a charitable, big-hearted, Christian man with empathy. But more than just empathy, he’s got the strength of character that transforms empathy into action that helps others, and that is very rare indeed.”

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photo by Richard Redig, Blue Ribbon News.

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