‘Treasure life’: wisdom from a former AIDS nurse

Wendy McNerthney, facing camera, who worked for more than 24 years at Bailey-Boushay House, hugs fellow registered nurse Hilary MacGregor at McNerthney’s retirement party. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times) Wendy McNerthney, facing camera, who worked for more than 24 years at Bailey-Boushay House, hugs fellow registered nurse Hilary MacGregor at McNerthney’s retirement party. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)

It’s a little easier now.

But back in the early ’90s, someone died every 72 hours at the Bailey-Boushay House in Seattle’s Madison Valley.   Read More

Wendy McNerthney’s retirement cake at Bailey-Boushay House. “I feel so blessed that I could do this work, that I could help people who needed it,” McNerthney says of her years caring for terminally ill patients. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)<img data-count=”2″ data-ratio=”1.5″ data-src-facebook=’http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1200×630.jpg’ data-caption=”Wendy McNerthney’s retirement cake at Bailey-Boushay House. “I feel so blessed that I could do this work, that I could help people who needed it,” McNerthney says of her years caring for terminally ill patients. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)” alt=’Wendy McNerthney’s retirement cake at Bailey-Boushay House. “I feel so blessed that I could do this work, that I could help people who needed it,” McNerthney says of her years caring for terminally ill patients. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)’ src=’http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-780×520.jpg’ srcset=’http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-300×200.jpg 300w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-768×512.jpg 768w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1024×683.jpg 1024w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-780×520.jpg 780w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1020×680.jpg 1020w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1560×1040.jpg 1560w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-320×213.jpg 320w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-480×320.jpg 480w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-640×427.jpg 640w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-960×640.jpg 960w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-568×379.jpg 568w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1136×757.jpg 1136w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-375×250.jpg 375w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-750×500.jpg 750w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-667×445.jpg 667w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1334×889.jpg 1334w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-414×276.jpg 414w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1242×828.jpg 1242w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-736×491.jpg 736w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/997f7f2e-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1536×1024.jpg 1536w’ sizes='(max-width: 767px) calc(100vw – 20px), (max-width: 854px) calc( (100vw – 20px) * .565), (max-width: 1019px) calc(100vw – 360px), 630px’ data-sizes='(max-width: 767px) calc(100vw – 20px), (max-width: 854px) calc( (100vw – 20px) * .565), (max-width: 1019px) calc(100vw – 360px), 630px’ >

The card given to Wendy McNerthney at the Bailey-Boushay House, where she started working in 1992 in the thick of the AIDS crisis. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)<img data-count=”3″ data-ratio=”1.60276″ data-src-facebook=’http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1200×630.jpg’ data-caption=”The card given to Wendy McNerthney at the Bailey-Boushay House, where she started working in 1992 in the thick of the AIDS crisis. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)” alt=’The card given to Wendy McNerthney at the Bailey-Boushay House, where she started working in 1992 in the thick of the AIDS crisis. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)’ src=’http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-780×487.jpg’ srcset=’http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-300×187.jpg 300w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-768×479.jpg 768w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1024×639.jpg 1024w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-780×487.jpg 780w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1020×636.jpg 1020w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1560×973.jpg 1560w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-320×200.jpg 320w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-480×299.jpg 480w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-640×399.jpg 640w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-960×599.jpg 960w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-568×354.jpg 568w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1136×709.jpg 1136w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-375×234.jpg 375w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-750×468.jpg 750w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-667×416.jpg 667w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1334×832.jpg 1334w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-414×258.jpg 414w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1242×775.jpg 1242w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-736×459.jpg 736w, http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a9749324-e8e0-11e6-87ba-e44ff9d0bc34-1536×958.jpg 1536w’ sizes='(max-width: 767px) calc(100vw – 20px), (max-width: 854px) calc( (100vw – 20px) * .565), (max-width: 1019px) calc(100vw – 360px), 630px’ data-sizes='(max-width: 767px) calc(100vw – 20px), (max-width: 854px) calc( (100vw – 20px) * .565), (max-width: 1019px) calc(100vw – 360px), 630px’ >

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