BUCKS COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Bucks County filmmaker delivered the commencement address Friday for Thomas Jefferson University's College of Nursing.
Brendan Gaul was invited to speak to the future of nursing while screening his groundbreaking documentary, which celebrates some of the most heroic nurses in our country's history.
Gaul's 5B is the inspiring true story about the nurses who volunteered to staff the first ever AIDS ward in San Francisco, California.
Gaul delivered the school's first in-person commencement address since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We created this film to shine a light on nurses," said Gaul, who grew up in Richboro. "To have a nursing school actually shine that back on me for the work that we've done, it's really emotional for me."
He says the nurses in 5B answered a call that so many ignored.
"They were all hand raisers," Gaul added. "They all volunteered. This was at a time when no one understood how HIV and AIDS spread. What they did there in San Francisco became the blueprint not only for AIDS care globally, but actually for modern day hospice."
Jefferson also bestowed Gaul with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
While he was back home in Philadelphia, he was accompanied by Alison Moed, one of the original nurses in ward 5B.
"I answered the call because I cared, because I'm a nurse," Moed said. "Nurses care. We have a duty to care. That's what we do."
Moed also saluted fellow nurses who have been working through this pandemic.
If you haven't seen 5B, it's streaming now.