Inspired By Uncle's Life, Family Chooses to Give Back

Hospice_Paige Walkup_02For Paige Walkup and her mother, Mary Beverly, donating to Methodist Hospice was the best way to honor and celebrate her uncle, Bill North.

“It was very important to Bill to always make life easier and more enjoyable for other people. Even if he did not have any money, he would give what he had to somebody else, through acts of kindness or sharing his skills teaching others. Our gifts are a reflection of his generosity,” Paige shared.

Bill was an artist and author who lived in Asheville, North Carolina. In 2015, he was diagnosed with inoperable bladder cancer.

As his health declined, Paige and Mary did all they could to care for Bill, taking him to treatments in North Carolina and even planning for Mary to move there.

However, their plans changed when, during a visit to Memphis, Bill became very ill and was admitted to Methodist Germantown Hospital. It was then that Paige and Mary realized that he would not be able to return home and needed around-the-clock hospice care.

“We had to very rapidly make decisions, but we discovered that my uncle lived in a gap. He did not have traditional medical insurance or Medicare. He was not a Veteran, and he did not have Social Security benefits. Bill had been an artist and an author his entire life. He had always been healthy, and medical care had not been prioritized in his daily life,” Paige recalled.

Unsure of where to turn, Paige started making calls. After much heartache and stress, she reached the Methodist Hospice team, and Bill was accepted as a charity patient at the Hospice Residence.

“It was the biggest relief - knowing that he was going to be cared for and comforted, that he would be able to pass with the dignity that he deserved, that there was constant attention to his care, and that he was in a peaceful environment,” Paige shared.

From physicians asking about the books he had written, to nurses finding Willie Nelson CDs to play for him, Paige and her family were deeply touched by the care Bill received.

“The thing that stood out about our entire experience was the level of care and the level of thoughtfulness of the Methodist team. From the Emergency Department all the way to the Residence, it was so patient-centered.”

Following Bill’s passing, Paige and Mary chose to make generous donations in his honor to help other families access hospice care when they need it.