Friends raise money for Delgado nursing student after husband's death

Friends raise money for Delgado nursing student after husband's death

A Delgado Charity nursing student is left to care for her four children by herself after her husband was killed in a boating accident.

On Friday, family and friends buried 39-year-old Wallace Bailey Jr., a former U.S. Marine from Houma. Suzanna Bailey's nursing school classmates now are doing everything they can to help her graduate on time. (Click here to visit the Go Fund Me site to help support Suzanna Bailey).

"I just - why her? Because she's always the one that's making everyone else feel better," said classmate Kari Campbell.

Bailey's classmates said the best way to honor Wallace Bailey Jr.'s life is to support the woman he loved.

"She has said she's not sure if she was going to finish school, but she has expressed that her husband would want her to finish," said Dawn Woodruff, a classmate and close friend of Suzanna.

With less than a year until graduation, Suzanna is now left to care for her four children on her own without a paycheck and without her husband for support.

"The only way she's going to be able to support her family from here on out is to have a degree, and the only way she's going to get that degree that she wants is to finish nursing school," said Campbell.

"We want her to be successful. We want her to finish this program. She was a great student, she will be a wonderful nurse," said Rebecca Harris-Smith, the Level 3 Coordinator at Delgado's Charity Nursing School.

Her friends say Suzanna and her husband shared a deep compassion for others. Wallace Bailey Jr. dedicated his life to his country as a U.S. Marine, and he put his family above anyone else - even donating his kidney to his sister, according to his obituary. Friends say Suzanna is no different.

"Nurses are needed everywhere, and this is definitely one nurse that you would want to treat you," said Woodruff.

"We would come back to the nurse's station to do paperwork and we're looking for her. She's in the patient's room. We're like, where's Suzanna? And she'd be in the room. She would be with the patient - by their side the entire day. And that's what a real nurse does," said Campbell.

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson said Wallace Bailey Jr. and his father were ejected from their small aluminum skiff Sunday morning. Witnesses were able to pull his father from the water, but Wallace sank below the surface.

"On Sunday, October 5th, she had texted me and said that her husband had drowned and that she did not want to physically call because she didn't want to upset me or her get even more upset," said Woodruff.

Wallace's body was found the next morning in the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Mary Parish.

"I just can't imagine what she's feeling and what she's going through, so I'm trying to lift her spirits," said Woodruff.

Through donations, the classmates hope to support Suzanna and her children the way she and her husband have always done for others.

Friends say Suzanna Bailey travels to and from Houma every day to go to Delgado's Charity School of Nursing, and she wants to be a labor and delivery nurse. To help pay for Suzanna's gas, tuition, books and child care – click here.

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