Grandmother gives MUSC $3M

Mrs. Robin W. Edwards

Woman fulfills dream of helping hospital where triplets were born

Robin Edwards of Myrtle Beach donated $3 million to the Medical University of South Carolina on Wednesday, $1 million for each triplet grandchild born at the hospital a decade ago.

When her daughter learned she was pregnant with triplets, Edwards said, "No doctor in the Myrtle Beach area would touch her."

So the children, two girls and a boy who are now in fourth grade, were delivered at Medical University Hospital.

Motivated by the positive experience, Edwards said, she and her husband, Thomas Edwards, discussed ways they might help MUSC Children's Hospital. Thomas died six years ago, before the couple could follow through with their plan.

The Edwards' friend, former South Carolina Gov. and MUSC President Jim Edwards, said in a news release: "Tom was one of the finest examples of humanity I've ever known, and Robin has always been very passionate about children's health. The three of us had talked about something like this for many years, but I don't think anyone, myself included, expected anything on this scale."

In recognition of the gift, MUSC Children's Hospital will name its atrium in honor of Thomas W. Edwards.

MUSC officials say the money will be used to create an endowment that will support a world-renowned pediatric nephrologist who will explore new treatments for chronic kidney disease, which currently affects an estimated 460,000 South Carolinians.

They also plan to create a separate research endowment to help fledgling research projects.

Pediatrics Chairman Lyndon Key said in the news release that many investigations are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. "However, before a study can be approved for NIH funding, we have to conduct preliminary research to prove that the study's scientific principles are sound and that it has the potential to achieve meaningful breakthroughs."

Robin Edwards said she hopes the money contributes to "a better life, including better health, for children from all walks of life."

Health problems are easier to treat if they're caught early, she said. "When you start out with good health, you have a better chance of being a healthy adult."