Monday, April 15, 2024

Long-time Island Visitor William McQueen makes donation in honor of Nurse Natalie


US retiree and long-time island visitor William McQueen presented a BZ$7,500 donation in honor of Nurse Natalie Palen to Ambergris Hopes Medical Clinic, located in San Pedro Town on Friday, February 28th. While not knowing Nurse Natalie personally, he was inspired by her life’s work and dedication to the residents of San Pedro Town. McQueen has been visiting the island for more than 20 years and fostered a relationship with Dr. Daniel Gonzalez of Ambergris Hopes Medical Clinic, whom he sees for medical care when he visits the island.
McQueen said that after reading about Nurse Natalie’s life, he felt that, “she was always there for people” and recounted that in the aftermath of Hurricane Keith, which ravaged Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker when it made landfall in October 2000 Nurse Natalie was on the ground immediately, assisting with relief efforts. “She worked very hard to get people patched up and on their way without thinking about the expense,” he said. “She paid for a lot of things out of pocket. I felt like that was kindness going beyond anybody’s imagination”. He greatly admired her ‘get it done’ attitude and felt that the donation would be a proper way of honoring her and her life’s work. Nurse Palen was born in New York, USA in 1947. She moved to San Pedro with her family in 1959 and spent the majority of her life on the island. She is known throughout Ambergris Caye for delivering over hundreds of babies and spending countless days and nights assisting the townspeople. She passed away on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
This donation is the third for McQueen, who previously donated US$10,000 to Hope Haven and US$10,000 to Saga Humane Society in February 2019. He said he admires the work these organizations do around the island and felt like the donations would be put to good use by those entities, whom he will continue donating to in the coming years. McQueen hopes that his charitable efforts will have a trickle-down effect and invite donations from others.

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