The Pirate Deacon

Deacon Patrick Lappert, MD

He’s a successful plastic surgeon and recently ordained Deacon… but he’s never finished high school. Born in Venezuela, his family immigrated to the States ending up in San Francisco where his father ran a liquor store business. Dr. Lappert learned the restaurant business, before dropping out of high school to live in a UPS truck before moving to a sailboat three and a half years.

Dr. Lappert left his hippie life to work a blue-collar graveyard shift as a chemical plant worker. He decided that he needed to go back to school and got his bachelor’s in Biology at UC Santa Barbara. A career in medicine peeked on the horizon but Dr. Lappert’s boyhood dream of flying airplanes still clung to him. He applied to the Navy officer’s flight school and medical school. A piece of advice sounded clear, “go to medical school… you’ll have a better life.” Taking it he received his medical degree at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.

While in medical school, a beautiful nurse named Patrice resisted his advances until finally realizing he wasn’t what she expected. They married but children eluded them. Through the years as Dr. Lappert’s residency and Naval career shined, he increasingly became dissatisfied. He had everything one could want. Life and its pursuit had lost its savor. One rainy night, after a 36-hour shift, Dr. Lappert comes to the parking lot of a church in Memphis, thoughts of suicide consuming him. What he would do next changed everything.