After beating cancer aged 9, she works in the hospital that saved her life

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-29 18:14:04

At the age of 6, Laura Shinn learned that she had cancer. Years later, she overcame the disease and became an oncology nurse in the hospital where she was treated.

Laura Shinn is a 40-something who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. When she was 6 years old, she experienced several cold-like symptoms and had a permanent stuffy nose.

After a week of illness, her mother tried to unclog her nose with a small syringe, to no avail. They then went to the emergency room and made an appointment with an ENT doctor. The latter did a biopsy to identify the mass that obstructed the girl's nose.

Photo credit: Laura Shinn

At that time, Laura learned that she had a cancer soft tissue called embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. The tumor was so close to his brain that doctors deemed it inoperable. To eliminate it, Laura had to undergo a treatment consisting of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiotherapy.

She was hospitalized for two years

To follow her treatment, Laura was admitted to the New Orleans Children's Hospital. After two years, she finally completed her treatment.

“During my two years of treatment, the hospital became my home , she confided. The nurses and staff who worked there as well as the other patients and their families all became my friends. I knew the ins and outs of everyone, and interacting with hospital staff and other patients became my new normal. »

Photo credit: Laura Shinn

Subsequently, Laura received chemotherapy at home, which was provided to her by a nurse with whom she formed a very strong bond.

“They and I are still very close to this day. Our connection inspired me to explore medicine. I realized that health care providers can be an important part of our lives” , explained Laura.

She becomes a nurse in the hospital that treated her

Thanks to her treatment, Laura was eventually cured of the cancer. At the age of 22, she decided to study in a nursing school and graduated in May 2005. She then applied for a job as a nurse. nurse in the children's hospital where she was treated. Although she wanted to work in the oncology department, no place was available for her. However, Hurricane Katrina hit the country, creating vacancies, which Laura accepted. Eventually, the young woman managed to work in the service that saved her life a few years earlier.

“When I was a nurse, some families were in the hospital for weeks , explained Laura. Whether the patients were there for chemo or for complications from their treatments, it was my job to take care of them day in and day out. Responding to their needs at this level created a special bond. »

Photo credit: Laura Shinn

Laura remained a nurse in this service from 2005 to 2019. Since then, she has been caring for children who have undergone a kidney transplant. bone marrow . Today, Laura is 42 years old and has become a true role model for all patients in the hospital.

“It is crucial to remind them that this single needle stick, this single round of chemo or this single transplant is part of a larger story and not the whole , said Laura. Helping patients see the other side of treatment and what to expect next, reminding them that they can go beyond that, that's the best part of what I do. »

Source : Insider