Besides the famous Florence Nightingale there was another influential nurse named Ana Néri. She was the wife of a Navy Commander, isidoro Antônio Néri and married Ana when she was 23. Antônio Néri was constantly on military duty which required his wife to become responsible for many of the household duties. Antônio Néri died six years later at war leaving Néri a widow at the age of 29.
Ana Néri’s role as a nurse began when she worked with for the Army’s health corps. After ending her time with the Army she started her work with Vincentian nuns in the Corrientes where she nursed over 6,000 soldiers back to health.
With her family inheritance Ana Néri founded “a nursing house in the Paraguayan capital.” After the war, in 1870, Néri returned from the Corrientes to Brazil and received many awards “of silver and humanitarian campaign medals.” Emperor Pedro I gave Néri a lifelong pension which she used for good helping four orphans that were from Paraguay.
After her lifelong journey as a nurse Ana Néri passed away in 1880 in Rio de Janeiro. She has continued her work post-death with having a nursing school named after her in Brazil by Carlos Chagas. She has a portrait (painted by Victor Meirelles) that is in the Salvador City Hall.
Most recently though, Ana Néri has attained her greatest feat, she is “now a character of the Book of the Fatherland Heroes, and will have her name added in the Pantheon of the Fatherland and Freedom, a monument in Brasilia consisting of a steel book designed by Oscar Niemeyer.”