December 4, 2007
The UVA medical center is said goodbye to one of its most dedicated volunteers on Tuesday.
It was Lou Pintos last day on the job, but it was also a special day because it was his 100th birthday.
Pinto has taught many at the hospital the gift of life through giving back.
"I never thought I'd be 100 (years old)," said Pinto.
Decades ago when his wife died from cancer, Pinto left home and headed south; he ended up in Charlottesville.
"I said to myself, I've got to get busy, keep busy, do something to keep me going," said Pinto.
Lou Pinto found a hobby at UVA as a volunteer in the Urology department; a place he's now been for one quarter of his life.
"Out of all the volunteers he's always showed up on time and always came with his game face and just an incredible, amazing individual," said hospital employee Steven Jones.
A game face that's become a regular face to the many patients and their families who walk through the waiting room every day.
"When I say something and they seem pleased I enjoy that. I feel good that I did something to make someone happy," said Pinto.
Pinto's dedication has not only touched the lives of many patients but also the staff who says they are fortunate to have him around.
As his time at the hospital comes to a close, Pinto says its his body, but not its heart that slowing him down.
He said, "My legs are going slow, so I think I'm going to just take it easy for the rest of my...haha...i don't know how many years I have left."
Jones said, "If my father were alive today or if I had a grandfather, I would like him to be like Lou."
The hospital dedicated the break room today and named it the "Lou Pinto Break Room."