PHOENIX - The Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix has a new president and CEO. He’s Dr. Michael Lawton and Hollywood actress Sharon Stone couldn’t be happier.
The actress best known for her roles in Basic Instinct, Total Recall and Casino credits Dr. Lawton for saving her life when she suffered a stroke with hemorrhaging in 2001.
“He not only saved my life but he made a full life possible for me," Stone said. He made it possible for me to be a fully functioning, fully capable person, friend, daughter mother and actress."
The two crossed paths at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco after Stone fired the first neurosurgeon for attempting to do exploratory brain surgery without her consent or explanation. She demanded to see another neurosurgeon, who turned out to be Lawton.
Stone says Lawton had explained all the options to her and let her make the decision about which direction she was comfortable in going in.
“Dr. Lawton took a career risk by stepping forward in the way he did. He oversaw my care in a way that I can’t imagine any other young doctor doing," Stone said. When he was up against a superior in his hospital because it was an educational hospital."
Lawton took over for Dr. Robert Spetzler, who retired in June.
Lawton was the vice chairman of neurosurgery for nearly 20 years at the University of California, San Francisco before coming to Barrow this summer, but he’s no stranger to Barrow. He completed his seven-year medical residency training at Barrow under Spetzler.
Lawton plans on expanding the research and neurological education at Barrow to take the institute into the future.
“We want to be the place that is innovating and leading, in all of these areas, not just neurosurgery but neurology, neuro psychology, neuro therapy. We have a fully integrated neuroscience institute here and we are laser focus just on that,” said Lawton.
Stone is active with Celebrity Fight Night, which raises money for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. She said she’s feeling healthy and has signed on with a new agency to get back into acting.
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