This past year has made me truly reflect on my career and what I consider a calling: Nursing. I do not consider myself a hero by any stretch of the imagination, as so many people have blessed me. I have had the pleasure of meeting amazing people every single day in a profession I didn’t choose but, instead, chose me. Coping with a pandemic no one could have ever imagined has shown me that I am in the right profession. We have cried together, supported each other, and get back up every day to give selflessly to our patients and families. I feel humbled and honored to be in the right profession at the right time.
My first profession was as a Home Economics teacher, far away from the United States on the small island of Jamaica. After emigrating to the US, I knew I did not want to teach anymore but was unsure what I wanted to become. There was a downturn in the Information Technology field with outsourcing jobs, and since my husband was in IT, we wanted to diversify. I started doing home care as this was one of only a few jobs female immigrants could get quickly that paid decent wages. I fell in love with it, and the families encouraged me to become a nurse. After much thought, I went to nursing school while working as a nursing assistant in the hospital while raising my children. After 15 years and many degrees later, I must say that nursing is my love.
After raising four children and having two grandchildren, my husband and I had a yearning to give back to someone what we had been blessed with. We had talked lightly about adopting in the past but as we got older never thought about it until two beautiful twin girls found us. We were informed of them through my husband’s sister, and we were enamored by them. Unfortunately, no sooner than we started the adoption process, we learned one of the girls was diagnosed with leukemia. Fight as she did, two months after arriving at Levine’s Children’s Hospital, she succumbed to her illness and passed away.
It was during this time while we were at LCH that we met some true superheroes. We met nurses, doctors, physician assistants, nursing assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, child life specialists, etc., who cared for and fought for a little girl they barely knew. Alesha was feisty and was a fighter. She fought with everything she had. It was during this time that we also came to know the folks at CCP. They were so instrumental in providing resources in so many ways. Sometimes, it was gift cards to help with lunch and gas as we spent time at the hospital with Alesha. Sometimes it was a listening ear as we struggled to understand why this sweet girl was going through so much.
As a nurse and a mother, CCP is a God sent to people in their time of sorrows. someone to hold your hand as you take a journey, no one should ever have to travel. Your nursing education goes out the window as you see your child slipping away from you and you have no control. CCP has been and continues to be a superhero in my book. I am forever grateful to have them in my family’s life as we move forward.
There have been so many superheroes on our journey, and we will be forever grateful. In the words of my son, “The essence of a true superhero demonstrates that courage is not the absence of fear, but taking action anyway – even in the middle of a pandemic or extreme grief and loss.”