Caring for friends through difficult times

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In this world of looking out for number one, it’s good to know someone is looking out for us, especially when we least expect it.

This week’s playmaker is a great example of what passing it on is supposed to be about.

Inspired by a couple’s love for each other, she had to pass on our $600 gift as a way of showing how much she cares.

We met playmaker Kristal Lindsey at Signature Health Care’s nursing facility at St. Francis Hospital.

Kristal wanted to Pass It On to Carrie Gatewood, whose 46-year husband Willie is in very bad shape.

The couple moved to Memphis from Minnesota 15 years ago so Willie could take a great job as a  research technician at St. Jude.

But last August, in just a split second, a driver who has yet to be caught hit Willie and took off.

“That really took a toll on her because they’re really elderly people.”

Now Willie needs full-time care. He’s unable to feed himself and can barely communicate.

But since Carrie doesn’t drive, in order to see her husband, she either takes a cab, or, three to five times a week, Kristal gives her a ride, something that’s had a big impact on Kristal.

“I don’t have a husband but Ms. Gatewood, she really helped me understand the true values of being dedicated and in love and responsibilities in case something like this happens.”

While we spoke to Kristal in one room, the nursing staff found a way to get Carrie to the lobby, which is where we surprised her minutes later.

Before Kristal can even count off the $600, the emotion from a stressful year starts to melt away.

“I didn’t know you cared so much,” Carrie said.

But Kristal cares all right. She cares a lot.

“I am so proud to be able to help somebody that needs help,” Kristal said. “A lot of people you look over. There’s some people going through something every day.”

Kristal’s only known Carrie for a couple of years, but their friendship came just in time.

When Carrie does have to take the cab, it’s $30 dollars, and Kristal helping out like she does is how she passes it on up to five times a week.

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