“Each morning when we’d arrive at the police barricades, people would be standing there with pictures of their loved ones, asking us to look for them,” Susan Diehl says. “Hours later, after a hard shift when we were ready to get back on the shuttle bus, they were still there—waiting for word.”
Nurses can be many things to their patients. A caregiver. A friend. A warrior. A lifesaver. A companion. An inspiration.
For Megan Buckley, RN, and her father, Frank Buckley, nurses are all these things.
Frank received a heart transplant at the Mass General Hospital in 1997 and a second transplant in 2013—to treat his cardiomyopathy—after which he spent six months in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) with his family by his side as often as possible.
“I’ve always had such faith in Mass General, they saved my dad’s life twice, probably more,” says Megan, who is now a nurse in the same cardiac unit where her father spent so much time. “He always talked about his amazing care team, but especially his nurses. They were the ones who would spend time with him when we couldn’t be there and that’s just beautiful.”
Becoming a nurse has been a dream for Megan ever since she, her twin brother and their older sister could be found as kids bouncing around the hospital room while visiting their dad after his first heart transplant. It was then that Megan first witnessed the compassionate patient care that nurses provide every day.
“It is definitely because of the care my dad received after his first transplant that made me want to become a nurse,” says Megan. “If you have a good nurse, it’s a good day for a patient. These nurses handle the most incredible situations I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and they do it with such strength and ease. I want to be able to support patients and families through the long arduous transplantation process that my family experienced.”
After Frank’s second transplant when she was a freshman in college, Megan graduated and began working at Mass General on White 8—as a patient care assistant for three years and then two years as an RN. While working on White 8, Megan credits her nursing director, Colleen Gonzalez, for being a constant motivator in her career, and was instrumental in securing Megan a job interview for the CICU—one day after the seventh anniversary of Frank’s last transplant. Megan began her new role as a registered nurse in the CICU in early March, under the wing of her preceptor, Lisa O’Neill, RN, one of the very same nurses who cared closely for her father seven years ago.
“It is truly amazing to see the way my dad described these nurses firsthand – especially my preceptor Lisa who was such a champion for him when he was a patient,” Megan says. “It takes so much to maintain a job in the ICU, and she still has such a good spirit after all this time. The experience with Lisa and watching how meticulous she is has been so inspiring to me, especially throughout the pandemic. She—and all these nurses—are truly incredible and deserve so much credit. My time here so far has exceeded my expectations and it makes me even more grateful for the care my dad has had.”
Today, Frank is doing well, enjoying retirement, and couldn’t be prouder of his daughter, who has become to her patients what O’Neill and other CICU nurses were to him: A caregiver. A friend. A warrior. A lifesaver. A companion. An inspiration.
- Aug | 20 | 2021
In 2020, Carr took up running to keep herself both physically and mentally active during the COVID-19 pandemic. She completed her first double digit run—10 miles—on Dec. 31. Six days later, after a routine checkup with her doctor, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Jul | 1 | 2021
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a group of students from Harvard Medical School—led by Dorothy Weiss Tolchin, MD, EdM, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Physical Medicine and...
- Jun | 18 | 2021
Two exceptional employees were honored with this year’s Ricardo Diaz Memorial Award during the celebration, recognizing the hard work, selflessness and compassion reflective of Diaz’s.
- Jun | 18 | 2021
The MGH Virtual Visits Team was honored with the 2020 Nathaniel Bowditch Prize for its quick and innovative work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Jun | 18 | 2021
Not even a global pandemic, with all its difficult diversions and delays, could stop the nurses of Ellison 9 from staying on track with a project timeline they had set before the COVID-19 outbreak.