Student nurse learns from long time friend - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Student nurse learns from long time friend

November 13, 2003

Albany - Many teenagers aren't too concerned about their future in the working world, but we met one who's different.

Little Ashlyn Bass is very fragile because she was only two pounds when she was born. Seventeen-year-old Claire Thompson says, "I want to help people who can't help themselves."

Ashlyn has angels watching over her. Thompson laughs, "Sometimes I worry they're gonna break."

Thompson spends eight hours a week volunteering in Phoebe Putney's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She explains, "This is a gifted internship."

The young intern is a student at Westover High School. Nurse Mattie Willis says, "Changing diapers feeding anything we need her to do to help."

Nurse Willis says Thompson has what it takes to be a great nurse, but this story is not just about Thompson taking care of premature babies like Ashlyn. This is a circle of life. Thompson was premature when she was born. She says, "Mattie [Willis] was also my nurse."

Thompson was three pounds in 1986 and she has home video of Willis holding her. On the video Willis says to baby Thompson, "You better come visit me before you graduate."

Thompson just made Nurse Mattie's deadline, she's a senior in high school. Willis says, "It's awesome. I was so excited to see her."

Who knows, maybe one day Ashlyn will be back to learn from Claire. Willis agrees, "You never know."

Thompson will continue shadowing until the end of the school year. She wants to be a nurse practitioner.

posted at 6:08PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com