Roles reverse as babysitter gets flu shot

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Superintendent Anthony Morris never planned on letting little 5-year-old Nate Hughes poke a needle in his arm.

But plans change, and Hughes is now a 21-year-old Alcorn State University nursing student. He&8217;s in his final year, working toward a bachelors of science degree.

To finish that degree, he needs community service time, which, Thursday meant administering flu shots in local schools.

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His former babysitter was first up in the chair.

While Morris was assistant principal in Starkville and Hughes was a child, the two families were close friends.

When the Hughes parents traveled out of town for a weekend, Morris and his wife stepped in to keep the kids.

&8220;He was easy (to take care of) in comparison to his little sister,&8221; Morris said.

Hughes remembers Morris keeping him too, mainly for the food Morris and his wife cooked for them.

Sixteen years later, the families still keep in touch, and Morris willingly agreed to let Hughes administer his flu shot.

Things went smoothly. No screaming, no tears. And Morris said he felt fine afterward. But the whole experience was one for the memory books, he said.

&8220;Back then, you do expect them to stay little forever,&8221; Morris said. &8220;So it is kind of amazing. And it gives you a sense of pride.&8221;

Hughes will stick around at ASU for another year to play football, and then he plans to go elsewhere to study anesthesiology.

Hughes was part of a team of about 15 ASU students who set up shop at the Fallin Career and Technology Center Thursday. Natchez-Adams School District nurse Joyce Griffin said she expected the group to administer about 25 shots to faculty and staff Thursday.

They will travel to other district schools Friday and Monday.