Sisters overcome setbacks, illness to earn nursing scholarship

Sisters overcome setbacks, illness to earn nursing scholarship

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Natasha Sudarto and Brittany Evans are sisters who do most everything together.

The pair has been working as a nursing duo at The Glen Retirement System in Shreveport for five years.

"I wouldn't trade my job for anything in the world," said Evans, who helped sister Natasha get a job at the nursing home several years ago.

The two have bonded to the point where they are nearly inseparable. Both went to nursing school together and when Evans suggested going back to school she had to convince her sister to do the same.

"Natasha said I'll help you and I'll babysit for you but I'm never going back to school," Evans said.

Those were words Sudarto would soon take back.

The pair is currently extending their education working in the LPN to RN nursing program at Bossier Parish Community College.

The pair juggles 15 hours of classes, 36 hours at work and care for their families. Sudarto even planned a wedding in between work and school, but an unexpected illness nearly halted everything for Sudarto.

"I felt my first symptom walking the halls here at the Glen," said Sudarto. "My feet fell asleep. Then gradually throughout the week just more and more symptoms started occurring and I was numb and tingly from my waist down. My left side, I couldn't walk. I had slurred speech. It was scary."

Sudarto thought she had a simple sinus infection but after a week of tests she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

"I never asked why it happened to me but more of what am I going to do about it?" Sudarto said. "I was very fortunate to get diagnosed soon. I began therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, only missing about five weeks of work and I came right back."

Sudarto's school work didn't suffer either. She stuck with it and has been determined to receive her degree.

The pair recently became the only sisters to both receive a scholarship for long-term care nursing.

"Our administration is the one who let us know about the scholarship and how to apply. So we applied and crossed our fingers."

Evans and Sudarto were both awarded the scholarship in 2016 and 2017. They expect to graduate in December.

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