If you have a kid who plays sports and you live in the Larchmont area you probably know Dr. David Skaggs. The Plymouth Boulevard orthopedic surgeon and father of three is the go-to guy for broken bones on the holidays, and skeletal issues relating to growing children. Two out of three of my children have been treated, both in his front yard and in the OR, by Dr. Skaggs who despite his stature as Chief of Children’s Orthopaedic Center at Children’s Hospital of LA, also takes on locals like a village doctor of years gone by.
So it was a delight to learn that one of Skaggs’ biggest new fans is none other than Pau Gasol, Lakers forward and a one-time medical student himself. Gasol has donated some $250,000 to Children’s Hospital LA and has taken a keen interest in witnessing surgeries first-hand. At the hospital, he offers emotional support and pep talks to the young girls and boys undergoing surgery and recovery.
The LA Times published a story on this basketball-bone fixing duo earlier this month and it’s a fun read. Pau has visited the hospital more than ten times, and has initiated collaborative efforts between Children’s Hospital and health care systems in his home country of Spain, where he began medical school before turning to basketball.
In the meantime, the Skaggs family has happily welcomed the towering player onto Plymouth Blvd, even playing a late-night basketball game in the driveway one evening after dinner out. Skaggs is married to health and medicine writer Val Ulene. The couple have three children, including son Clay pictured here, daughter Jamie, and eldest daughter Kira who hopes to go to medical school and eventually practice pediatric orthopedics with her father.
Read the full story here:
Los Angeles Times: Pau Gasol’s Work With Children’s Hospital
YouTube: Pau Gasol Views Spinal Surgery at Children’s Hospital (Warning: this is a very graphic blood and guts video, not for the blood-shy.)
About Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.