By Oldine Joseph
A WWII veteran is making a name for himself not for his military service but for his spirit and charm in the hallways of Delray Medical Center.
Two days a week, four hours a day, you can find Charles Carroll, who turned 100 recently, navigating the three-story hospital with ease.
His job is to wheel patients who are being admitted or discharged from the hospital in a wheelchair.
Close to 100 friends, family members, and staffers at Delray Medical Center joined Carroll as he celebrated his 100th birthday in a lounge at the hospital on June 25. Delray Beach City Commissioner Shelly Petrolia was also present and was among those who signed his huge birthday card.
“It means a lot to me that so many people are here to shake his hand and congratulate him, give him a kiss on the cheek, just give some warm expressions of their gratitude,” Barry Carroll said of his father. “As his son I’m really proud of him.”
Carroll began volunteering at the Delray Medical Center five years ago after recovering from a heart attack in 2003. He said he was grateful to the medical staff for the wonderful care, and wanted to give back.
“After a few weeks they had me straightened out again,” said Carroll, who now has a pacemaker. “I just owe so much for that, I wanted to do something.”
There were red and blue balloons hung up everywhere, hats decorated with the American flag, streamers, and delectable goodies such as bags of chocolate chip cookies with flags strung beside them. In addition ice cream and peach cobbler were served.
Carroll sat with his wife Helen Carroll at a table near a mini-stage where a slideshow of pictures was projected while his son Barry Carroll detailed the major events from the past century.
“He’s worked hard all of his life,” Barry Carroll said. “He has served people in the military and whenever he’s had an opportunity he’s gone out of his way to be a blessing to other people.”