Care comes naturally:Gleaton enjoys helping patients cope with needs

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, September 6, 2006

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Teresa Gleaton's job may be filled with trauma, but she is the sort of person who can brighten the lives of those around her.
Gleaton is a Registered Nurse and the branch manager of this area's Wiregrass Hospice. It is a small group of workers but they are working with some very courageous patients.
All of the patients have chronic progressive diseases for which there is no cure, or have so many things wrong with them they can't be treated in the traditional way. It also could be the symptoms or the medication a patient is taking.
Patients who are on hospice lists need as much joy and sunshine in their lives as they can get, and Gleaton shows them a side of her that can't be ignored. She is as cheerful as she can be, but she never loses sight of the reason she is visiting these patients. She wants to make the day-to-day life of each patient as easy as possible.
She didn't always want to want to be a nurse. From the time she was a little girl, she has wanted to be in show business and anyone who knows her doesn't doubt that someday her dream could still come true.
She was born in Brewton in 1963, the oldest of three children. Her father had met her mother while he was in the military in Japan.
The family moved to Chicago when she was very young, but by the time she was in the sixth grade they had moved back to Brewton. She attended McCall Junior High and then transferred to W.S. Neal High School where she graduated in 1981. She was very active in school serving as a cheerleader, a member of the Junior Civitan Club and as Escambia County Junior Miss.
The scholarship money she won with the Junior Miss program made it possible for her to attend Jefferson Davis Junior College.
She went out and got a job for a few months, but said she wanted something that would pay more than minimum wage. That's when she decided she would go back to college to get her nursing degree.
She received the psychiatric care award for her graduating class and worked at West Florida Regional Medical Center at the Pavilion with adolescents.
In the meantime, she was married in 1985 and gave birth to her first daughter, Morgan Cardwell, in 1989.
In 2000 she wanted to go back to college and Jefferson Davis Community College had a very active drama program. She received a scholarship to Alabama State in Montgomery.
She returned to her nursing career and found that nursing was now where she was needed, and where she wanted to be. This time she chose hospice work and realized that was where she could do the most good.
She married Jason Gleaton in 1997 and their daughter, McKenna, the couples first child, was born in 1999.
Gleaton doesn't have a lot of free time, but when she does, she likes to read and make beaded jewelry. She likes to spend time with the family and they are renovating their house together. She collects books and puzzles to get her mind off of a very busy and hectic daily routine.
She taught dance for a number of years and she has not let that talent go to waste. She has been the choreographer for the Junior Miss Program for 17 years.

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