Galen College of Nursing in San Antonio fulfilled a big dream that was robbed from a small-town girl after a gunman terrorized her church in Sutherland Springs nearly a year ago, leaving her and 25 others dead.
The college presented Haley Krueger’s mom, Charlene Uhl, with a nursing degree for her daughter on Friday. Uhl says that it was an emotional day, but at least she can now say her daughter’s dream is more than just a farfetched goal, it’s now a reality.
"She was a very bright young lady and she was looking forward to her future," Uhl said.
Haley dreamed of someday working as a NICU nurse.
"She loved babies,” Uhl recalled. “No matter where she went, she flocked to the babies. It was her favorite thing and she wanted to help save them.”
Haley’s love for children was evident at a young age. She helped care for the youngest members at The First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
"Her favorite baby here at the church was Noah,” Uhl said. “She would come to church and then the whole week she would talk about nothing else but Noah."
Noah Holcombe, a 1-year-old girl, and 16-year-old Haley died in the small church when a gunman sprayed their home of worship with bullets. But Haley’s dream didn't die with her. When Galen College of Nursing heard about her aspiration to attend their school to become a nurse, they stepped in to grant her wish.
“It’s just really amazing that they would honor my daughter this way even though she wasn’t able to fulfill her dreams” Uhl said.
The college presented Uhl with the school’s first posthumous nursing degree.
Uhl says that she’s just getting by, hanging on to her faith and her community to help ease her painful loss and keep her daughter’s memory alive.