Solutions Magazine - Summer 2013
Solutions magazine tells the stories of how the UNT Health Science Center is creating solutions for healthier communities. (Formerly titled North Texas Health and Science.)
Brigitte Altman’s home is a place of many joyous memories with her granddaughter, Lauren Magee, 10. Empowering seniors to live full lives ‘Journey’s End’ for Holocaust survivor: memories in her own home As a girl during the Holocaust, Brigitte Altman stayed just one step ahead of the Nazis. After World War II, she trekked across Europe, eventually settling into a quiet life as a Fort Worth wife, mother and arts supporter. Now 88, she lives independently in the southwest Fort Worth home she calls Journey’s End. With the help of a UNT Health physician, she plans to stay in this house that she and her husband bought 50 years ago. The house that rings with joy when three generations gather at Thanksgiving, the home 10 where she and her granddaughter play the piano and bake challah bread. Altman credits UNT Health geriatrician Janice Knebl, DO, with empowering her to remain there and to share life’s joys with her family. “Dr. Knebl helps me understand how to make the right choices to be as healthy as I can.” Altman has a history of making the right choices, often under extreme duress. When she was a teenager in Lithuania, she and her family were evicted from one home after another, imprisoned in the Kovno ghetto and forced into slave labor. At war’s end, she began another journey to escape the Iron Curtain. She progressed from safe house to safe house, crossed the Alps into Italy and, in 1949, emigrated to Dallas. She married an Air Force officer, Fredric Altman, a decorated bombardier and navigator who flew 50 World War II missions in B-17 “Flying Fortresses.” His career took the couple to England, upstate New York and finally Fort Worth.