Jayne Ezell, 59, nurse manager

Posted: July 27, 2013

Jayne Ezell, 59, of Haverford Township, a former nurse manager at Wills Eye Hospital, died Saturday, July 13, of respiratory failure at her home.

Mrs. Ezell, who had severe progressive spinal disease and scoliosis, survived two medical emergencies in 2012, but had made substantial progress toward rehabilitation before she died in her sleep.

In 1974, she began working as a nurse at Wills, where she remained for 28 years.

She specialized in emergency and trauma nursing before becoming an operating-room assistant nurse in both ophthalmology at Wills and in neurosurgery with the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital neurosciences department.

In 2002, she was promoted to nurse manager of outpatient surgical services for Wills.

Leading institutions such as the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami; the Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles; and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Cambridge sought her advice about the nursing support needed for high-tech eye surgery.

Mrs. Ezell was forced to retire in 2008 due to the debilitating effects of her ailments.

Born and raised in Conshohocken, the former Jayne Elizabeth Schank graduated from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Her father, Walter S. Schank Sr., founded the Schank Printing Co. of Conshohocken.

Mrs. Ezell received her degree as a registered nurse from the Roxborough Memorial Nursing School in 1974. She met her husband, Paul, when he was a resident surgeon at Wills in 1980.

They married in 1987 and had a daughter, Victoria. He practices ophthalmology in Langhorne.

She supported her daughter's Haverford High School soccer and traveling volleyball teams.

Mrs. Ezell was thrilled to see her daughter graduate from the University of Scranton Nursing School this year with a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

"It was as if she was reborn herself," her husband said.

Surviving, besides her daughter and husband of 26 years, is a brother, Walter S. Schank Jr., and two sisters, Mary Lou Donovan and Eileen Papadatos.

A Funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27, at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 401 Brookline Blvd., Havertown. Visitation starts at 9:30 a.m. Interment is private.

Donations may go to the Scoliosis Research Society, 555 E. Wells St., Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wis. 53202.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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