SFH-Memphis Nurse Saves Life 

Charity Townsend Caldwell, RN


In the Right Place at the Right Time - Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis Nurse Saves Life

   Charity Townsend Caldwell, RN had just graduated from nursing school.  Being a single mother and working full-time, it had taken her longer to reach graduation than she would have wished.  When she started her nurse training, her son was in kindergarten, and finding time for her class work was difficult.  Yet, by this Spring, Charity had achieved her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse.

   On May 2, she parked at the DeSoto Civic Center.  When Charity entered the building, she saw a crowd gathered around a man lying on the floor.  Without thinking, she announced "I'm a nurse!" and rushed to the man's side.  A quick check revealed that he wasn't breathing and that his heart had stopped.  Charity immediately began chest compressions and soon the man opened his eyes and took deep breaths.  Shortly after, the paramedics arrived to transport him to the hospital.  The man was Glen Swinny, her Dean of Health Sciences.

   "He really wouldn't have made it, we don't believe," said Provost Joanne Bassett. "It was just amazing to see a little angel working in front of us."

   Charity is being called a heroine.  She doesn't see it exactly that way.  "It was divine intervention for both of us," she said. "He let me know I could do it."  In a letter to the school, Charity wrote: "I have no doubt that the chance I was given to pursue my dream resulted in a second chance for Dean Swinny.  To all my instructors, classmates, friends and family, thank you for believing in me."

   Everyone at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis is proud of Charity, who works in our ICU and is a Versant program resident.  We are also blessed to have Charity as a part of our healthcare team!