BIO Index

Ann McDermott


Hello from Chapel Hill, NC. We moved here from Orange Park, FL in 1990 after my husband, Frank Barnes, retired from 23 years as a USN Supply Corps officer and began a new career in the business side of healthcare. Frank was in his last semester earning a degree in business at UF and I was working at J. Hillis Miller hospital when we met. Our 46th anniversary will be celebrated this month. His retirement from UNC Hospitals is set for the end of July and I am thankful we are reasonably healthy and look forward to the opportunities that retirement will give us.

Following graduation at SHS, I entered the nursing program in the fall of 61 at MJC. The education and skills gained in this program helped me for the rest of my life both professionally and personally. I worked full time in hospital nursing before we had children, was a stay at home mom for 16 years and then went back to part time nursing in a pediatric office until my retirement two years ago. Another graduate of our class, Cathy Otto, also entered the same nursing program in the fall of 61. Cathy and I have been friends since about 6th grade and she married my brother James McDermott (SHS class of 58) in 1965. Their home is 30 minutes away in Raleigh, NC. ?

We are the parents of three daughters and a son and have been blessed with six grandchildren. Our first child was born a week before her dad shipped out to Vietnam and our last was born just a few years before his retirement from the Navy. As a military family we moved often, sometimes to very unique assignments such as Midway Island (1970), Athens, Greece (1974) where our third child was born, and Saudi Arabia (1978).

We also were stationed in Newport, RI, Athens, GA, Pascagoula, MS where our first child was born, San Diego, CA where our second child was born, Philadelphia, PA, Meridian, MS, where Frank obtained his MBA, and last in Jacksonville, FL, where our forth child was born and back-to-back tours at the Naval Air Station allowed three of our children to start and finish their high school education at one school, without a need to move.

Our oldest daughter went off to college in 1985, a month after the birth of our youngest daughter and at this point our lives took a different path as we centered on the needs and care of our youngest who was born with trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder that results in birth defects, serious mental delays and a short life span with less than 10% making it to their first birthday. Megan was a sweet content child who graced our lives for almost 20 years. Megan's legacy is a 100 page book for parents titled Care of the Infant and Child with Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 (A Barnes, JC Carey, third edition 2008) Anyone interested can find this book at www.trisomy.org

We are on the board of the Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13 and Related Disorders (SOFT) and advocate for these special children. Every summer since 1987, we have attended SOFT medical conferences in cities throughout the USA. It's educational but also is similar to a family reunion with old friends returning each year but meeting new parents and the children too.

Holidays are just more fun when spent with family. Our oldest daughter lives in Chapel Hill with her 9 year old daughter and 13 year old son. Our middle daughter, husband and their two daughters, ages 5 and 7, live in Colorado and we see them a couple of times per year. Our son and his wife and two year old son are 25 minutes away in Cary, NC.

With the exception of my sister-in-law Cathy Otto, I've not been in contact with my high school class since graduation. I've enjoyed reading the bios; what a good idea! I will not be attending the reunion but wish it every success.

Ann McDermott Barnes