Campus mourns student death

Megan Angelo

Jill Laura Creedon, a nursing student at the University, died on July 12 of metastatic hemangioendothelioma. She was 25.Creedon, who graduated from Virginia Tech and worked in insurance before enrolling in the University’s College of Nursing, was diagnosed with the rare tumor condition when she was two years old. Creedon initially beat the illness, and her disease remained in remission until her junior year at Virginia Tech, when the tumors reappeared in her liver. She underwent liver transplant surgery shortly thereafter. Having learned firsthand of the importance of nurses, Creedon decided to go back to school to pursue a nursing degree. She began studying at Villanova in August 2004 and finished her first year with a 3.29 GPA and was honored by the University for academic achievement. Creedon completed clinical training at Bryn Mawr and Lankaneau Hospitals.Dr. Frances Keen, assistant dean for the undergraduate program of the College of Nursing, said Creedon “was an excellent student, and she had a very outgoing and supportive personality.””Because of the things she experienced in her life, she recognized when other people were in need of emotional support,” Keen said.Katrina Rung, also a second degree nursing student at the University, became fast friends with Creedon through the program. “Something that always stood out to me was her modesty,” Rung said. “None of us knew she was a Division I soccer player the first time she went to school, that she was an accomplished equestrian – she really was an amazing athlete.”Rung was also impressed by Creedon’s dedication to her studies. “She didn’t take her pain medication so that she would be lucid in class,” Rung said. “She would take it when she got home, and it would really knock her out, and she would have her parents wake her up at a certain time so that she could start studying.”Creedon attended Rung’s wedding on June 18, shortly after she began hospice care.”We spoke every day, and the night before she still didn’t know [if she would feel well enough to attend],” Rung said. “The morning of, it was a surprise for me to walk down the aisle and see her there. A good surprise.”According to Creedon’s wishes, the Jill Laura Creedon Scholarship Fund for Nursing has been established to provide financial assistance each year to a student who demonstrates need and has a medical condition.