Local woman loses mom to cancer, cares for sisters, and finishes nursing school to help others

Local News

A story of compassion, determination, heartbreak and resiliency. 

A central Illinois woman is following in her mothers footsteps of nursing. 

She walks us through her path of anguish and achievement to get to the graduation stage Saturday. 

“My mother was a nurse and growing up I watched her work in different fields, the hospital,” says Emily Boswell. 

Ever since Emily was a little girl, she wanted to follow in her mothers footsteps.  

“I saw nurses who provided care with an unbelievable amount of love and who made you feel like, the patient was the most important thing, but also that the family was the most important thing and I really want to do that.”

Growing up, she faced difficulties she never saw coming. 

“My mom raised the four of us, she was married and then my dad left and he’s been kind of  there, but not really. She did a lot of the work and then as the oldest child I did, I helped her a lot.”

As Emily got older, the times only got harder.

Her mom got diagnosed with cervical cancer and after a long road full of fight, she lost her battle.  

“She was my best friend, she is my best friend. Throughout all of my life, she’s been like, she’s been the person that was there and then um, she got cancer and I was there with her the whole time, I took care of her. I went to all the different appointments and things like that and we just got closer and closer.”

During Carla’s battle with cancer, Emily watched many nurses show their love and support. 

This only solidified her choice to do the same, become a nurse so she can give the same love and support they received. 

“I just, I saw how great they were and how kind and compassionate they were and how they made the struggle that we were going through that much better and that made me really wanna do that. I wanna make my patients feel like they’re the most important thing and that I truly care about what’s going on in their life and that not only do I care about the patient, but I care about the family too.”

Now, after two years of schooling, Emily has finally reached her goal.

“It’s been a really long two years and I’m really excited to be done with school and to start working.”

Emily’s career will keep her mom’s memory alive helping to change the lives of her patients for the better. 

“She was a phenomenal nurse and if I can be half of what she was it would be amazing.”

Carla’s death left two of Emily’s younger sisters without a legal guardian, so she acts as the guardian for her 12 and 16-year-old sisters to help them finish out high school. 

A previous version of this story said Emily was adopting her siblings; it has since been revised to reflect that she’s a guardian. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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