By Angela Spears
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Sometimes you get help in the most unlikely places. For Walter Hill, his search for support turned into him lending a helping hand to transplant patients at St. Luke's Hospital.
Hill says, "It really made a difference in my understanding and coping with what transplant was going to be about." He attends support group meetings. They are therapeutic for him.
Hill is able to share his story. His wife, Beverly, had a lung transplant four years ago. "My wife was a plum that had turned to a prune."
Hill was looking for support, someone who knew what it was like for him and his wife, so he turned to this group. Jim Andrews, a transplant patient and a member of the group, says, "We all wondered who Walter was. What he was doing there. Whether he just wanted to get off the street and in from the rain or something."
He and all of the members of the group got more than they ever thought they would. Becki Snyder had a double lung transplant and heart repair two and a half years ago. She says, "There were times when I was too sick and too weak to cook dinner and Uncle Walter would call up and say not have you eaten today, what are you going to eat today?"
She says it's the little things that
make Hill, who she calls Uncle Walter, so special. "He picks up people from the airport in the wee hours of the morning." He visits with transplant patients.
According to Hill, "When I can help a person smile or get a person to eat when I know they haven't eaten and they tell you they're okay and you can convince them to eat a little soup with me. It means a lot to me."
Andrews, who had a heart transplant in June 2001, says, "(If) You need somebody to hold your hand, somebody to talk to, that's Walter."
Hill sees the changes in those around him. In fact, he has seen life come back into his wife. "That wrinkle, that drying up, that prune became a plum again."
Hill brings smiles to those around him. That's why First Coast News is proud to honor Walter Hill as one of 12 Who Care.
First Coast News