“I moved to Folly Beach with my daughter while she was still in high school. We specifically went there because it was so low-key; it was quiet and we could hear the sound of the ocean. We chose to go there because it was a place where we could ride bicycles to go to the post office, walk the beach, or just sit on the front porch during a storm listening to thunder and the waves crashing.
“I have a cute little beach cottage; one of the few remaining small houses on Folly. I think it has given my daughter roots. Even though she’s moved away, finished college, and married now, she still considers herself a Folly girl. She came back here for her wedding. Everybody rented beach houses, rode bikes back and forth. The wedding was downtown, in our church, but everything else was centered around our home on Folly.
“I’m originally from Lafayette. I did my Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and my background is math and physics. I began researching intracranial aneurysms and blood flow with a physician in Pittsburgh and he asked me to continue working with him here in Charleston.
“I also do a type of imaging called functional MRI. For example, let’s say a patient needed surgery for a tumor near the part of the brain responsible for speech. The patient would go in the MRI scanner and we run tests to determine where the language areas are. I spend about a day post-processing the scan on the computers, putting red areas in the places that were active to show the surgeons how close they can get.
“I’m the bridge between what is seen in the clinic and the math that describes what’s happening; that’s my forte.
“Not long ago, I took a sabbatical and became a master gardener through the Clemson Extension program. I volunteer my time working the gardens at the Hope Lodge, a home away from home for cancer patients undergoing treatment at the hospital. At home, I garden all the time, growing Bonsais, roses, hydrangeas, and orchids.
“At the end of the day, I like to cross the bridge and go to my other life, my low-tech life.” —as told to Jason A. Zwiker
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