Mama Sue’s Garden

Every spring, Mama Sue’s Garden at Carroll Campbell Place, Lexington Medical Center’s facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease, comes alive with beautiful new blooms.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation built the garden after a generous donation from someone with a personal connection there.

“Mama Sue” was Dora Sue Porth Spires. Born in 1921 and raised on a farm in Lexington County, she adored gardening and music.

“My mom could touch a flower and it would grow. She could grow roses – and grew them nicely,” said Betty McWhorter, Mama Sue’s daughter.

Mama Sue spent the last three years of her life as a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care, the hospital’s skilled nursing facility. When she passed away in 2000 after suffering from dementia, Mama Sue’s family wanted to find a way to honor her.

Betty McWhorter in Mama Sue's Garden at Carroll Campbell Place

Betty McWhorter in Mama Sue’s Garden at Carroll Campbell Place

At the time, McWhorter was a member of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation board of directors and plans were in place for a garden at Carroll Campbell Place.

Because Alzheimer’s patients have a tendency to wander, the garden was designed with pathways in continuous loops.

One side features a soothing and relaxing water feature. The other has speakers for outdoor music.
With a generous gift from Mama Sue’s family, the hospital’s Foundation dedicated the garden in 2002 and named it

“Mama Sue’s Garden,” honoring Mama Sue’s lifelong love of flowers, nature and music.

Family members can take their loved ones outside to the garden to enjoy each other’s company in a peaceful setting, where memories are precious.

“The garden is calming, serene and safe. It gives solace to family members,” McWhorter said. “And flowers can bring comfort when things seem the most difficult.”

Today, Mama Sue’s family encourages philanthropy in the community.

“When you can give outside yourself to a cause you believe in, it magnifies itself over and over. Let’s see what we can do together.”

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at MidlandsGives.org.

Students Share the “Art of Healing”

Nine Lexington County high school students have received prizes and awards in the 6th annual “Art of Healing,” a juried art competition for Lexington County high school students sponsored by Lexington Medical Center in partnership with the Columbia Museum of Art. The students created projects including drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures that each depicted their interpretation of healing. The work will be on display from now until May 29 at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Art teachers from Lexington County high schools each chose one student’s artwork to enter. All artwork had to incorporate healing or health. Steven Ford, owner of Steven Ford Interiors, Jane Przybysz, executive director of the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, and Michael Story, an award-winning fine artist, judged the entries and selected the winners.

“We wanted to give students the opportunity to express their interpretation of ‘healing’ through artwork,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center. “Every year, the quality of artwork impresses us more and more. It is a wonderful experience for students to have their artwork displayed at the Columbia Museum of Art for our community to see.”

Many of the students’ entries shared inspirational personal stories of family members’ health challenges and recovery.

Students received their awards at a reception at the Columbia Museum of Art on April 30. The students, their teachers, school administrators, hospital staff, and museum employees attended.

Congratulations to all winners!

1st Prize
“No Medicine Better than Nature” by Elizabeth Rola, River Bluff High School

2nd Prize
“Overcoming the Dark” by Lacy Appleton, River Bluff High School

3rd Prize
“Hope” by Alexis Bouknight, Chapin High School

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Juror’s Choice
“Death in Beauty” by Addie Herrick, Brookland-Cayce High School
“Pet Comfort” by Anna Grace Romine, Lexington High School
“I am Beautiful” by Jessica Jacobs, Chapin High School

Honorable Mention
“Ms. Cathy” by Nicole Whitlock, Chapin High School
“Family Healing” by Caro Cornwell, Spring Hill High School
“Unspoken Language” by Mackenzie Briggs, River Bluff High School

A Sweet Melody

The melodious tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” fills the community room inside Lexington Medical Center Extended Care as pianist Linda Skipper, who volunteers regularly at Extended Care, brings a beautiful baby grand piano to life with her tremendous talent.

And the residents love it.

“You’ll see feet tap that don’t normally tap, a lot of smiles and sometimes tears,” she said.

Pianist_ExtCareThe baby grand piano at Extended Care was a gift from the Lexington Medical Center Foundation in 2011. The instrument fills the room with incredible sound as volunteers play it nearly every day. Everyone here is grateful for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation is able to provide here thanks to generous donors in our community.

Lexington Medical Center Extended Care is the hospital’s 352-bed skilled nursing facility, the largest in the Carolinas. It also includes the 36-bed Carroll Campbell Place for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, which was named in honor of the late South Carolina governor, Carroll Campbell, who lived there.

Over the years, the Lexington Medical Center Foundation has made more than $1.2 million in contributions to the facility, including new televisions, renovations to walkways, gathering spaces and resident units, and landscaping.

“When we admit a resident, we admit the whole family,” said Wayne Stowe, vice president of Extended Care. “Creating a beautiful facility with well-appointed features helps patients and family members feel more comfortable and have better visits together.”

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at MidlandsGives.org.