For 45 years, John Geesbreght, M.D. guided the emergency department at Texas Health Fort Worth, serving as medical director. During his long, successful career, he helped Texas Health Fort Worth’s ER and trauma programs achieve regional and national recognition for innovative, quality care.
To his wife Priscilla, he was a loving partner who helped raise a family of which he was tremendously proud. To his children and grandchildren, he was a cherished role model, mentor, and supporter.
Dr. Geesbreght passed away on Aug. 4, 2019. He and Priscilla had previously decided to make a financial gift to the Jane and John Justin Tower at Texas Health Fort Worth. After Dr. Geesbreght’s passing, his family decided to honor his life and his legacy of caring by designating their gift to fund the beautiful and welcoming Geesbreght Family Lounge located on the ground floor.
We asked Priscilla and one of their sons, Alex, to share their thoughts about their gift, the man they knew as husband and father, and the legacy he left through the thousands of people to whom he provided care.
What led your family to make a financial gift to support the Justin Tower?
Priscilla: Giving to Texas Health Resources, specifically the Justin Tower project, was a tangible way to honor John’s beloved hospital. The fulfillment it brought him for 45 years is immeasurable. John’s commitment to his doctors, nurses, and medical staff was well known. Among a few other hand-picked opportunities, giving to the Justin Tower was an obvious choice.
Alex: Before he passed away, mom and dad decided together to make a financial gift to the Justin Tower. For as long as I can remember, they searched with open eyes for specific opportunities to help a group or an individual. Their philosophy was focused, my dad didn’t believe in just giving to an organization without knowing where the funds were going and how they were going to be used. He never had any doubts about Texas Health Resources. The gift to the Justin Tower was significant and emblematic of the faith my parents had in the stewardship of those funds. They knew their financial gift would be put to good use and would benefit the hospital, the community, and the patients.
How did your family feel when you first saw the Geesbreght Family Lounge?
Priscilla: The beauty of the space filled me with unexpected emotion, and the tears came. John would have been very touched. I wish he could have seen the completed project. He would have been in awe, as I certainly was. The seating configurations for family and friends of loved ones in the hospital are thoughtfully arranged, comfortable, and lovely. The art commissioned from local artisans is so beautiful and Texas worthy.
Alex: We were delighted with the space. My brother Andrew, my mom, and I went in and were just at a loss for words. It was unexpected, more special and touching than I think any of us thought it would be. It was extremely well done and nice. The time we spent together in the Geesbreght Family Lounge was very meaningful.
How does your family see the Justin Tower honoring Dr. Geesbreght’s career and life? What do you want others to know about Dr. Geesbreght?
Priscilla: The plaque “Geesbreght Family Lounge” reflects John’s belief in family being a priority in his life. He made time for each of our children and was a devoted husband, father and Popi. He was also dedicated to his professional family circle and gave of his energies and resources to be their loyal advocate.
Alex: The Geesbreght Family Lounge is a confluence of my dad’s professional and personal lives that works perfectly in the space.
Alex, you also made a separate financial gift to the Justin Tower. Where did you designate your gift in the tower and why?
Alex: Yes. Carey, my wife, and I decided to give a gift to fund a nurse’s station. We made the gift because I knew it was something important to my dad. This was something I knew my dad would have supported. The thing that always stood out to me was what an advocate my dad was for nurses and how appreciative he was for them. He often spoke about the reason an emergency department runs the way it does is because of the nurses.
What else would you like for us to know?
Priscilla: I was blessed to have been John’s partner in life and raise our family together. He’s gone, but not forgotten. His impact will long continue to be felt. I see our sons and daughters and our grandchildren carrying on the legacy of making a difference in both word and deed. That brings joy to my heart.