Grafton Couple Honors Son’s Memory with Donation to Pediatric Neurosurgery

A Grafton couple recently turned a tragic accident into an opportunity to give back to Albany Med and support area children dealing with neurological challenges.

Alan and Nancy Taylor Baumes, joined by members of their family, presented a check for $200,000 in support of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital in memory of their late son, Jason Taylor Baumes, who was killed by a drunk driver at age 30 in 2017. Before his untimely death, Jason bartended at a restaurant in Manchester, Vt., and enjoyed playing adult recreational league hockey with his father. As a teenager, he underwent a lifesaving procedure performed by now-retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. John Waldman.

“In thinking about how to best keep Jason’s memory alive the phrase ‘paying it forward’ came to mind,” said his father in his remarks during a ceremony held June 24 at Albany Med. “We quickly thought of Dr. Waldman, who gave our son a new lease on a healthy life. Our gift to the hospital was inspired by what you’ve done for our family. Jason was a generous person. We believe he would smile on our way of thanking Dr. Waldman and recognizing the good work at Albany Medical Center.”

The donation will establish the Jason Taylor Baumes Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Neurosurgery Endowed Patient Assistance Fund and the Jason Taylor Baumes Education and Research Endowed Fund for Pediatric Neurosurgery. Knowing that the two endowed funds would take time to accrue funds, the couple also created the Jason Taylor Baumes Pediatric Neurosurgery Expendable Fund for immediate use.

“This gift will have a direct impact on families in our region as well as educating our residents and future neurosurgeons for years to come,” said pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Matthew Adamo, who accepted the gift joined by Dr. Alan Boulos, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Adamo explained how the program currently uses 3D printer technology to print replicas of patients’ skulls. With them, doctors can more clearly show parents the exact issue affecting their children. In addition, the 3D skulls allow Dr. Adamo and his team to practice in advance on complicated cases.

Finally, he said the funds will be used to support educational opportunities for pediatric neurosurgery residents and “broaden their exposure to new and innovative techniques and bring them back to our community and help patients in our region.”

Albany Med is the only hospital in the region with pediatric neurosurgery capability. With a leading-edge pediatric intensive care unit, general pediatric ward and neonatal intensive care unit for premature infants, the Center provides expert care for a wide range of neurological conditions for newborns and children of all ages. This includes the care and treatment of children with brain and spinal cord tumors, traumatic brain injuries, epilepsy, spasticity, cerebral vascular disorders such as Moya Moya Disease, and congenital disorders such as Spina Bifida, Craniosynostosis and Chiari Malformations.