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Drexel CNHP Nursing Student: A Lesson in Heart

August 31, 2011

Most nursing students experience trauma and illness while working with patients in an academic setting. Kerry Walsh, a nursing student at the College of Nursing and Health Professions started her personal battle at a very young age.

A Cherry Hill, NJ native, she was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 11 and through steroid treatment she developed Avascular Necrosis (AVN), a condition causing a lack of blood supply that can lead to a bone’s eventual collapse. Most people would associate a hip replacement with the elderly; Kerry has undergone a double all while still in high school.

A born dancer and athlete, she was sidelined when treatments and a near fatal infection almost cost her life. After walking out of the ICU at Children’s Hospital after four months, Kerry inspired herself to keep going. A suggestion from her sister led Kerry to get back into sports via the helm of a boat as a coxswain in the sport of rowing.

A fighter and true competitor, she earned distinction as a coxswain very quickly and spent her high school years decorated in wins.  With a petite frame and powerful voice Walsh claimed the bronze medal in the women’s varsity four and women’s lightweight four at the 2010 SRAA Nationals in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The 5’2” dynamo has brought her heart, courage and spirit to Drexel’s rowing team as well, earning an unusual spot for a freshman, to cox for a D-1 varsity team.  And out of the approximate 3,100 athletes in attendance at this year’s Dad Vail Regatta, she was regaled as 112 pounds of pure heart.

Kerry Walsh is entering her sophomore year at the College of Nursing and Health Professions and looks forward to her first co-op experience in the spring term.