Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Alison Beal-Edwards ; St. Mary's, WIC Nurse; Family Caregiver

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Alison Beal-Edwards ; St. Mary's, WIC Nurse; Family Caregiver

Article excerpt

Alison Beal-Edwards faced trying times when life threw three curve balls at her. Thankfully, her training as a nurse had prepared the 29-year-old for the hardships that would rain down on her. Three years ago, her husband was shipped to Iraq. While her husband fought overseas, her older brother, Brandon Beal, was fighting for his health. He had long suffered from cystic fibrosis and his time on the lung donor waiting list was up. And to top it all off, just before her brother's double lung transplant, Beal- Edwards' mother, Margie, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It was stressful," she said. "I really enjoy spending time with my family, and I've learned how precious life is."

As gloomy as it started, the story has a happy ending. Her husband, Darrel Edwards, made it home safely before her brother's transplant, which improved his lung functions. Her brother had lived with her for a year or so while her husband way away.

She helped out with his home health care, attending to his needs and making sure he took his antibiotics and other medications. Her brother now works part time and coaches soccer, with her help. Beal- Edwards also helped tend to her mother while she recovered from chemotherapy and surgery, giving her injections along with advice on skin care. "I have to admit I tried to be strong for everybody," she said.

Beal-Edwards, a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana School of Nursing, has worked one day a week at the WIC Clinic in Princeton, Ind., for five years. For six years, she also has worked in the pediatric clinic at St. Mary's Medical Center, where she also worked as a student nurse during school. She's kept a part- time schedule at both places to leave time to tend to her family's needs.

Born in Fort Branch, Beal-Edwards grew up knowing she either wanted to go into the health professions or become a schoolteacher like her mother. …

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