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UNF Foundation, Inc.

The power of caring

"It has meant more time with my family, valuable time. It means everything." -Brian Frampton

Brian Frampton embraces each new day. He is grateful for his family, the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives and for all those who have enriched his own.

frampton laughing with his spouseThe retired Navy petty officer turned registered nurse is scheduled to graduate from UNF in 2020 with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in nurse anesthesia. His journey, which includes both a heart and kidney transplant, has been a challenging one, but also one filled with optimism and joy. Many have impacted his life, from medical staff to individuals like Robin and Sharyn Bradbury, who funded a fellowship that provides support while he is in graduate school.

Life took a dramatic turn for Frampton in 2004 when he became ill while deployed to Qatar and the Persian Gulf. A serious heart condition was identified, ending his Naval career. Three years later, he had a heart transplant. At that time, his daughters were six and three.

Through it all, Frampton recalls nurses and others who made a profound difference in his life. One nurse, Ian, was a paraglider who engaged Frampton in long discussions on how to configure a two-way radio in his helmet. They discussed electrical work and fabrication - skills Frampton developed in the Navy. Later Frampton learned Ian already knew how to do what he was asking his patient to "teach" him. "He engaged me in something he knew would distract me," Frampton said. "Th is is the power of caring."

Then, there was the nurse who cared for Frampton aft er his transplant. She held his hand while he wept for the family of the heart donor - a 17-year-old who had just gotten his license a month before being killed in a hit and-run accident.

frampton receiving an awardDrawn to healthcare as a young man, Frampton's powerful experiences with medical staff furthered his desire to change professions. "They ease the burden somewhat, even if it's only listening or showing with small gestures that you are not alone, and that they care," Frampton said. Robin and Sharyn Bradbury know this all too well. They also spent countless hours in hospitals with their son Drew, who passed away from complications due to cystic fibrosis. Sharyn recalls the extraordinary nurses who cared for their son. "It was their humanity," she said. "They were friends as much as caregivers."

The Bradburys have endowed two unique graduate fellowships, both with a leadership component - one for a STEM field and one for nursing, currently awarded to Frampton. "The two current fellowship recipients are terrific," said Robin. "Brian is spectacular, and I couldn't imagine a better advocate in the nursing field."

Frampton is grateful to the Bradburys for touching his life in such a meaningful way. "It has meant more time with my family, valuable time. It means everything."