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Cancer Patient Says UVa Student, Nurse is Now 'Part of His Family'

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

May 18, 2013

One UVa Class of 2013 nursing student made such an impact on one of her patients' lives, he made sure he was in the front rows of a special pinning ceremony on Saturday.

Several awards were given out to nursing student graduates during the ceremony in Old Cabell Hall but Olivia Calzada was recognized by the dean for something else.

Rusell Owings, a Nelson County resident was a cancer patient at UVa Medical Center.

Calzada was on her oncology rotation when she met Owings. Even though he had about 30 different nurses while going through 24 radiation treatments and two rounds of chemotherapy, through the pain and emotion, he couldn't forget Calzada.

"Olivia really stood out in the way that she tended to me," Owings said. "We shared a lot of conversation about our personal lives and it wasn't so clinical which really was impressive to me and got my mind off of things going on in my life."

"It just makes it all the more special to kind of have that reinforcement that I'm doing the right thing you know kind of validating everything that I've been doing for four years," Calzada says.

The two plan to stay in touch as Olivia moves on to her professional nursing career.

Owings is back in Arrington, Va., and is able to get back to a normal life.

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