Giving to HSS

No Cane, No Pain

Howard "Tom" Thompson was certain that his wife had played a trick on him. He walked from the kitchen to the living room to answer the phone and when he turned around to grasp his canes, they were gone. She hid them! Or so he thought.

At that moment, Tom realized that only a few days after having both hips replaced, he had walked with no pain and no canes.

Impressed yet concerned that he may have caused further injury to himself, Tom called Paul M. Pellicci, MD, attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, who replaced both hips. Dr. Pellicci's lighthearted reply: "As long as you're feeling that well, why don't you come clean my garage?"

With gratitude, Tom decided to do something with more lasting impact.

Trust in HSS
In 1997, with renewed mobility and quality of life, Tom established a charitable remainder trust with HSS. By funding the trust with appreciated stock, Tom avoided paying taxes on what would have been a substantial capital gain. He also received a large, immediate tax deduction for his donation. In turn, HSS ultimately receives a donation to help fund both patient care and its facilities.

For Tom, establishing a charitable remainder trust to support Special Surgery's efforts to help patients like him was an easy decision. "I recommend the Hospital to everybody. I'm so impressed with what was done [to help me], how it was done, and the longevity," expresses Tom, "it's amazing to me."

"He knew the number by heart"
Tom's hip problems started gradually. It was not painful, exactly, but difficult. Climbing the steps of the railroad station for his daily commute to New York City from Connecticut became a chore. So did routine tasks such as putting on his pants, shoes and socks.

One day, at the advertising agency where he worked, Tom had a conversation with a co-worker that would change the quality of his life. Previously, Tom had noticed that his co-worker "walked with a great swaying motion, in obvious discomfort." But after being out of the office for a couple of weeks "he was walking tall". "I asked, ‘What happened to you?'" Tom recalled. "That's when he told me about HSS and Dr. Pellicci."

Encouraged by the fact that his co-worker had memorized Dr. Pellicci's phone number, Tom was even more impressed by his first visit at HSS. Four weeks later, Tom underwent bilateral total hip replacement, a surgical procedure in which both hips are replaced. He recovered in the hospital for 10 days followed by two weeks at home.

Two hips, good as new
Within weeks of surgery, Tom returned to his work and normal life, without pain, setback or complications from infection. "People [would] never believe me when they see me being active, and I tell them I had both hips done," states Tom. Dr. Pellicci wasn't surprised.

"We have the lowest infection rate in total hip replacements and total knee replacements reported in the world, and that's no accident," says Dr. Pellicci. HSS has implemented the use of total body exhaust suits for surgeons and those assisting in surgical procedures; designed specialized operating rooms; and instituted rigorous protocols for sterilization and other techniques to minimize the chances of infection. "It's expensive," explains Dr. Pellicci, "but if you save scores of people from infection every year, it's well worth the cost."

Now, more than 16 years later, Tom's new hips are still working for him. At age 78 and retired, Tom walks, cares for the yard, climbs the ladder, shovels snow, and enjoys bowling. He also volunteers his time to the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, the Darien (Connecticut) Community Fund and other charitable organizations. With an active lifestyle, Tom's only concern is the longevity of his hips.

"I asked Dr. Pellicci about how long my hips would last, and he responded, ‘Until I retire,'" remembers Tom. "My comment to him was: ‘You're not retiring early, are you?'"

Donate Now!
Match your gift!

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hospital for Special Surgery a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Hospital for Special Surgery, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to HSS or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to HSS as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to HSS as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and HSS where you agree to make a gift to HSS and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

A codicil is a document that is used to make changes to a will that has already been created.

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