Navy Medicine Names Honorary Nurse in Nebraska

Story Number: NNS110718-14Release Date: 7/18/2011 4:22:00 PM
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From U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

DAVID CITY, Neb. (NNS) -- Navy Medicine made a lifelong dream come true for a 70-year-old cerebral palsy patient July 16.

Karen McDonald was named an honorary Navy nurse at the rank of ensign and presented with a ceremonial certificate signed by director of Navy Nurse Corps, Rear Adm. Elizabeth Niemyer, at her home in David City, Neb.

"Making Ms. McDonald an honorary Navy Nurse is akin to Navy Medicine participating in its own version of 'Make a Wish,'" said Niemyer. "The Nurse Corps has a long heritage and is proud to be a part of this special occasion. I am personally very happy that we could make this happen for such a special lady."

The presentation came about due to the dedication and loyalty of a close friend of McDonald's, Nebraska native and veteran Michael Lachance, who contacted the Pentagon earlier this year with the request.

"Karen dreamed of being a nurse in the Navy. She's had cerebral palsy all her life, so due to her physical impairment, she wasn't able to realize that dream," Lachance in a letter to the Pentagon in January 2011. "She is a charming lady who lives her life with zest. I can't help that I had the opportunity to serve and loved it. Certainly, we can find a way to give her the same opportunity."

McDonald has limited mobility, walks with a walker, and has travel restrictions, but today she can say she got her chance to be a Navy nurse.

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield. For more information visit

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