Dr. Anthony B. Gustafson began his journey in healing after attending Case Western University Medical School and completing his internal medicine residency in the Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital.
In an effort to provide better care to those serving our country, he joined the Navy Medical Corps on July 1, 1973 as an officer. While there, Tony piloted innovative research to aid in the health and welfare of the troops. After his service he continued as an advocate of healthcare, including becoming a well-respected endocrinologist at the Fargo Veterans Administration Hospital. Tony was known as a dedicated and passionate teacher to his many residents from the University of North Dakota Medical School.
Tony was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1990. During the nearly 30 years living with the disease, he sought out cutting-edge treatments through medication, physical therapy, and other therapeutic regimens, including volunteering to partake in ground-breaking deep brain stimulation surgery at University Hospital of Cleveland.
Over the years, as the disease progressed and he required more assistance with daily activities, it never stopped him from the pursuit of his interests. Tony believed in the strength of hope and continually searched for new ways to heighten awareness of Parkinson’s. He saw it not as a diagnosis, but just another obstacle in life – one he intended on conquering.
The Liftware spoon was purchased as a father’s day gift in the anticipation it would assist his ability to eat independently and enhance the overall enjoyment of his daily fare. Having passed away only a few days prior, he was never able to use it.
On behalf of Tony’s legacy of honor, service, and advocacy, the Gustafson family would like to donate the utensil to the Midwest Parkinson’s Initiative. His life was illustrated by his devotion to heal – notably the inspiration he bestowed upon others to never give up hope – even if it’s a spoonful at a time.
Written by Anastasia Gustafson