Monday, May 4, 2020

Women's Softball: UIS’ Addison Bryant makes relief appearance off the field

University of Illinois Springfield junior pitcher/utility player Addison Bryant is a bona fide multi-tasker. And, a certified nursing assistant.

Even during her season-debut with the Prairie Stars last year, Bryant squeezed in a weekly night shift around her softball schedule and coursework at Memorial Medical Center, summoning enough energy to work a handful of hours after practice.

Her softball season, of course, vanished this past March due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving her with considerable unexpected free time that made Bryant restless after she moved back home to Gillespie, where she earned The State Journal-Register’s honorary captain for the 2016 area softball team.

“I’m not really one to sit around and do nothing,” Bryant said.

That spunk prompted Bryant to volunteer at Heritage Health, a nearby nursing home in Staunton. She has virtually worked there full-time since the end of March, often committing four or five days a week from 2 p.m. until 10:30. She often wakes up in the morning, completes her routine softball workouts and then her class assignments before taking the short drive to Staunton.

“It’s not too bad,” Bryant said. “You just have to have time management and know that you have to get up and do your homework because you have to work later. I just get up and get that stuff done so I don’t have to worry about it.”

She also had full support from her parents, despite the risks. Nursing homes have turned out to be especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

“Being in the health care profession, there’s always things that are kind of scary with being around infectious things all of the time. What’s going around right now, it is a serious situation because we aren’t really sure about it and there’s just a lot of unknowns. And the virus can get to anyone at any time, which is scary. “But we’re doing all of the things we need to be doing. We’re wearing masks and gloves and all of that sort of stuff, and just continuing to wash our hands and use proper techniques and things to keep us safe during this time.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 1, 2020.

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