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Old 04-03-2010, 08:52 AM
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Default Nursing Student Saves Dean's Life @ Graduation





"Not your typical rescue story" is what I first thought reading this. Instead, a powerful story of second chances. Here is the deal:
Charity Townsend Caldwell wasn't even going to go to her own graduation that day, but a friend talked her into it at the last minute.

As the new nursing graduate hustled out of the rain into the DeSoto Civic Center on May 2 and saw a crowd gathered around a man, her instincts kicked in.

"I'm a nurse," she called as she pushed through people, got down on the floor in her heels and her half-zipped graduation gown and checked for a pulse. The man's breathing was shallow. Then his pulse stopped.

"All I was thinking is, 'I only have three minutes to get the blood flowing to his brain,'" she said.

Caldwell, 35, began chest compressions, an act she had only performed once before and an act she was later told saved the life of Southwest Tennessee Community College's Dean of Health Sciences, Glen Swinny.

"He really wouldn't have made it, we don't think, without Charity," said Provost Joanne Bassett. "It was just amazing to see a little angel working in front of us."

Swinny was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto. He had suffered a heart attack and his arteries were 90 percent blocked. He had double-bypass surgery two days later.

Caldwell had never met Swinny, but she visited him in the hospital the day after his surgery.

"I couldn't recognize him at first, but when he looked at me, I knew his brown eyes," she said. "He hugged my neck, kissed me and said, 'Thank you so much.'"

School officials called Caldwell a heroine, but she views it differently.

"It was divine intervention for both of us," she said. "He let me know that I could do it."

It took a lot of perseverance and little bit of luck for Caldwell to reach the graduation ceremony that night.

As a single mother working full-time, Caldwell struggled for eight years to get her nursing degree. She began when her son was in kindergarten, taking one class at a time. After failing two classes, she was dismissed from the program.

"I was crushed," said Caldwell, who said she has always wanted to be a nurse.

When Southwest instituted a readmission policy in 2007 in response to the state's nursing shortage, she gave up her full-time job as a clinical reimbursement specialist at Smith & Nephew and started over.

In a letter to the school's president after graduation, Caldwell wrote: "I have no doubt that the second chance I was given to pursue my dream resulted in a second chance for Dean Swinny. To all of my instructors, classmates, friends and family, thank you for believing in me." (from Memphis' Commercial Appeal)
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:11 AM
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Omigosh, this gave me chills and tears!
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:04 PM
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What a story .... God had/has plans for her!
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:26 PM
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That's amazing! Hope her career goes well for her!
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:46 PM
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Only thing that bugs me about this story is her running up in her cap and gown and saying "I'm a nurse!"


Sorry if I'm raining on the parade. I think she did a great thing but she ain't a nurse until she sits the NCLEX.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:30 PM
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She was in the right place at the right time I would say.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HhRNhhr View Post
Only thing that bugs me about this story is her running up in her cap and gown and saying "I'm a nurse!"


Sorry if I'm raining on the parade. I think she did a great thing but she ain't a nurse until she sits the NCLEX.

I thought that, too, but it may have been a media thing. They don't always get their facts straight. Whatever, she did a great thing. Here's another version where they don't quote her saying that:

---

Amazing Rescue Ends Student's Journey

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The journey was long, but it was worth it. After 8 years, Charity Caldwell completed her nursing degree. And on graduation day, duty called, and she proved she could do it.

Charity Townsend Caldwell tells FOX13, "I started off with all of this, it was 2001, so this has been an 8 year thing for me."


Caldwell was a single mother who struggled to become a nurse. After failing two classes, she was dismissed from Southwest Tennessee Community College. The nursing program is not an easy program; it is a very difficult, demanding program.

In 2007, the nationwide nursing shortage meant Caldwell would get a second chance. After an 8 year journey, she was finally graduating, but didn't want to go to the ceremony. At the last minute, classmates convinced her.


"And my son, I wanted him to see this is the end result of everything we went through to get here," says Caldwell.


Caldwell was running a few minutes late to her graduation at the DeSoto Civic Center. She rushed inside to find a crowd surrounding a man on the ground, that's when her instinct kicked in, and she jumped in to help.


"I busted through, went straight for his neck to feel for a pulse. I got him back twice, he opened his eyes, took a big breath, I said 'come on, stay with me, it's ok, you can do this,' and he went out again," remembers Caldwell.


The man she saved, Glen Swinny, Dean of Health Sciences, doesn't remember much about that Saturday.


"I remember absolutely nothing, I went completely blank until sometime when I finally woke up in the intensive care after the surgery," says Swinny.


After an 8 day stay in the hospital, he's recovering, and amazed at the series of events that led to him living to tell the tale.
"Absolutely amazed, for all practical purposes, I really shouldn't even be here today," Swinny says with a smile.


Charity says "I don't feel like I did anything extraordinary, its just somebody needed help, I was there, and I knew what to do, that's all it is."


Charity says it was divine intervention that brought the two together. It was a second chance at life for the dean, and a chance to prove herself to the world.


Before the heart attack, Dean Swinny had plans of retiring at the end of June. That's still his plan. And another part of his plan, meet Charity in person, so he can thank her for a second chance at life.

http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/heal...udents_Journey
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:13 PM
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Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Must have been God's timing. An_gel
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:39 PM
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so many things could have made this turn out bad.


If she did not go .... she would not have been there at all
If she was not running late ..... she would have been past that spot
If she had not failed .... she would have already graduated
If they did not instetute the reinstatement program .... she would not have been there

so many things could have made this turn out badly for him but they all went right. That is somebodys doing.
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