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Scholarship created in honor of ICU nurse who died from COVID-19 helps man become registered nurse

JaMarcus Corlew received Gary Woodward Scholarship
Gary Woodward Nursing Scholarship
Posted at 7:00 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 20:00:55-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An ICU nurse that lost his life to COVID-19 was able to enrich the life of another nurse.

For 25 years, Gary Woodward served patients at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital. He passed away from COVID-19 complications in November of 2020.

"From everything I know about Gary, he was just a really empathetic caregiver," said Dan Thomspon, vice president of the Ascension Saint Thomas Foundation.

While JaMarcus Corlew never got the chance to meet Woodward, because of him, he is a newly minted registered nurse.

The Ascension Saint Thomas Foundation picked Corlew to be the first recipient of The Gary Woodward Nursing Scholarship.

"Ironically his story, Jamarcus' story, of kinda getting inspired to become a nurse — it was through, really, a personal experience, someone he cared about, witnessing their care. And Gary's was the same story," Thompson said.

Corlew became a licensed practical nurse a few years ago. Because he was interested in continuing his education, he sought out scholarships to go back to school. He was honored to get the Gary Woodward Nursing Scholarship.

"Just to find out that [he] had similar stories that I did — it was mind-blowing to me and it brought me to tears," said JaMarcus Corlew. "The fact that I was the only one that got selected for the scholarship with so many people in Ascension was just amazing to me. God is so good, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity."

Corlew's goal is to get a master's degree in nursing.