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(May 10, 2018)
BELLEVUE, Wash., May 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 3,500 nurses are expected to attend the Boston Red Sox annual Nurse Appreciation Night at Fenway Park on May 15.
Participation ballooned from just 700 attendees last year after Nurse.org launched its "Nurse Hero" contest, in which anyone could nominate an outstanding nurse to throw the first pitch at the game.
The winner, Jeffrey Ballard, is a registered nurse and a 20-year Army National Guard veteran who was injured while serving in combat.
Out of 1,400 nominations, 10 nominees were selected as finalists. Nominees received over 10,000 total votes.
Ballard now helps elderly veterans maintain their independence in his role with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He credits the position for giving him hope again after his injuries. He initially returned to a hospital emergency department, but that didn't work out: Every day was a constant trigger for his PTSD and he ended up leaving the ED after less than a year.
Ballard's wife nominated him; she saw the pain he was in, both physically and emotionally. She could only offer him support and understanding.
Ballard has been with the VA for nearly five years now and has flourished there. While all nurses are compassionate and go above and beyond, his wife says that Jeff and his dedication to his patients and fellow nurses is one of a kind.
All 10 nominees will also be recognized in a pre-game ceremony.
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