The relationship between a mother and daughter is one of the most powerful connections. Just ask these mother and daughter pairs who work at North Kansas City Hospital. They share common interests and describe being best friends.
Mary and Becca
Becca Stacy, BSN, RN, NICU, knew from a young age that she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a nurse. “My mom always inspired me, and I looked up to her,” Becca said. “Nursing always seemed like a vocation for her and not an occupation.”
Mom Mary Koch, MSN, RN, Nursing Education, even worked with her daughter on the same shift in ICU at one time. Becca appreciates that she can talk with her mom, a fellow nurse who understands her experiences. “I feel blessed that I chose nursing as a career, and I wanted nursing to be Becca’s choice and not mine,” Mary said. Both agree they complement each other. Becca is the planner in the family while Mary is more likely to live in the moment.
Becky and Molly
Becky Smith, BSN, RN, Infection Prevention and Control, cherishes the Mother’s Day gifts her three children made by hand. Now, grown and leading their own lives, she especially enjoys watching daughter Molly Spencer, BSN, RN, achieve success in her role as a nurse on 10th Floor Pavilion. “Molly was born here and attended the hospital daycare, so it’s good to have her close by as an adult,” Becky said. The hospital feels like home to Molly. “Some of my coworkers have seen me grow up, and now we are working together,” Molly laughed.
Both mother and daughter share a fondness for organization and doing things the right away. Away from the hospital and in the kitchen, Becky is helping newlywed Molly broaden her culinary skills, which Molly agrees her husband will appreciate.
Carol and Mary
Mary Davis, MSN, RNBC, chose nursing after a second career. “I planned to be a teacher until I realized so much of a teacher’s job involves parenting other people’s children,” Mary said. She received her nursing degree and eventually joined mom, Carol Widner, MSN, RNBC, in Nursing Education. For Carol, she was the first and only one of her immediate family to attend college. Originally planning to be a surgeon, Carol opted for the quicker nursing career. “I thought I would be an Old Maid before I finished along with incurring a lot of debt,” Carol recalled.
Early in her career, Carol used her nursing skills at home when she revived Mary after the five-week-old infant aspirated and stopped breathing.
That is just one of the bonds between mother and daughter. They also travel together to destinations, like Europe, Mexico and Hawaii. They also went to the same nursing school and finished their graduate degrees within three months of each other.
Teresa and Jenn
Not only do this mother and daughter look alike, but they also share a passion for nursing and helping people. Mom Teresa Havens, BSN, RN, is a nursing director, and daughter Jenn McFee, a nurse tech on Mother/Baby. Collectively, they have worked over 28 years in nursing.
Jenn always wanted to work in the nursing field and found her fit helping new moms and their babies. “It’s so exciting to see the parents’ happiness,” Jenn explained. “Then, we get to be involved in helping them learn how to take care of the baby.”
Jenn is Teresa’s only daughter, so they also are best friends. “We are always able to talk with each other,” Teresa said. A nursing bond makes a great relationship even stronger between Teresa and Jenn.
Tammi and Grace
Tammi Shotwell, Print Shop, remembers crying on Mother’s Day in 1991. She had the best gift ever, her daughter Grace, born earlier that week. “I was so busy taking care of her that I actually forgot it was Mother’s Day until my husband, Kevin, brought me a vase of peonies,” Tammi remembered. “Having my first baby around Mother’s Day was wonderful.” Every year, Tammi can count on the peonies blooming around Grace’s birthday.
While the two exchange gifts with each other when Grace’s birthday lands on Mother’s Day, they share a year-round pastime: attending concerts, especially country music performers. “I like taking my mom because we enjoy being together and we complement each other,” Grace said. “I am more outgoing and she is more quiet.”
Mary and Brooke
Growing up Brooke Ruth, BSN, RN, 2nd Floor Hospital ICU, saw up close the life of a firefighter father and a nurse mom. It was not unusual for mom Mary Valverde, MSN, RN, now a director of Surgical Informatic Services, to perform CPR on someone at a restaurant or to recall memories of assisting victims at the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse. “I told Brooke that nursing is a serious field, and there will be situations where you have to make life or death situations,” Mary recalled. The two share a passion for nursing and a respect for each other. “It’s nice to know my mom is there for support, and I am so happy I get to do what I love in the hospital where we both work,” Brooke said.
Away from work, Mary and Brooke share an enthusiasm for all things Disney. Brooke got married at Walt Disney World, and the duo loves traveling to any destination with a beach.