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March 25, 2014

Student wants to pay it forward

Logansport graduate choosing career in nursing after being hospitalizedon 16th birthday.

The Indiana Department of Education recently recognized a Logansport nursing student for excellence in the field he chose as a result of hospitalizations he had in his teens.

Tyler Yeakley, a nursing student at Ivy Tech-Logansport, received the department’s Postsecondary Student Career and Technical Education Award for Excellence at a public ceremony in Indianapolis. He was one of 12 Hoosier college students recognized, including four from Ivy Tech’s system statewide.

After graduating from Lewis Cass High School in 2009, Yeakley decided to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing, he said, because of a spate of hospitalizations he’d undergone beginning when he was 16.

“I was diagnosed with a heart condition and I went to Riley Hospital,” Yeakley said. He spent his 16th birthday in the hospital, he said, and later underwent three cardiac ablations.

But he got to know a number of nurses and emergency medical technicians, he added, and they changed his life — in more ways than one.

“That really made me want to pursue a career in that field,” he said. “I enjoyed what the nurses did for me as well as the EMTs.”

Yeakley plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing after he graduates from Ivy Tech in December. He’s seriously considering pursing a career in pediatric nursing.

“I enjoy that the most out of all the clinicals I’ve done,” he explained.

As a student nurse in an extended care facility for children, he helps care for severely disabled children. “We play games with them, keep them entertained, because they don’t have very many family members that show up either,” he said.

He appreciates “walking in the room, seeing their faces smile because there’s somebody in there to take care of them and be with them,” he said.

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