My daughter, Casey, was born in Santa Monica, California in 2006. Due to a traumatic birth she had a lot of medical issues and was never expected to survive a single day. Just before her second birthday she was finally strong enough to survive a move and so we decided it was now or never if we wanted to move back to the Austin area. Dell Children’s Medical Center had only been open a short time and we were terrified about leaving the medical mecca of Los Angeles to move to small town Austin. After we arrived we started to meet all of her MANY specialists. To our surprise they were all AMAZING! It was not long after moving to Austin that Casey became sick and needed to be admitted. During our time at Dell Children’s all of her doctors, nurses, and everyone really worked together to be sure that she got everything that she needed.

We added new specialists each year, and would spend more than our fair share of time in the hospital. Dell Children’s became a second home to us, and the staff all treated Casey like the rock star that she was. Sadly, due to Casey’s medical issues each year she had more challenges. Just before her 10th birthday Casey passed away at home.

Dell Children’s was well represented at Casey’s service with many of her providers even saying a few words. Because of the kindness and support that we received over Casey’s life I myself decided to go back to school. When Casey passed away I did not want to go back to work in tech like I did before she came into my life. I wanted to stay connected to Dell Children’s and all of the wonderful special needs families we had met along the way. I enrolled in nursing school and became an RN in the height of the pandemic.

I graduated nursing school May 2020 and started working in the Rehab Unit (specifically because a lot of the medically complex kids are admitted to this unit) in July 2020. I recently joined the tracheostomy clinic part-time while also still working on the unit. I absolutely love what I do. Working with families like my own helps me to feel connected to Casey in so many ways. My heart fills at the thought that I may be able to give back even a tiny bit of the care that we were so fortunate to receive.

This is not at all where I expected to be, but I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.