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Teena O'Connor

Teena’s story: a few minutes from a caring nurse and tuition assistance have changed my life

O'ConnorIn 1990, as a patient of Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, I was cared for by an OB (obstetrics) nurse named Mary. I was a new young mom – scared of what the future held. Just after midnight Mary entered my room and found me crying. She assured me she would be back to talk with me after checking on her other patients.

To my surprise Mary returned and spent several hours of her shift talking to me about my fears and my future. I was only seventeen. I can still see Mary sitting on the edge of my bed, she was only a few years older than me – a beautiful young nurse, engaged to be married. I remember thinking how lucky she was and what different paths our lives were on for being just a few years apart in age.

Years passed, my son was now five years old, and I often thought of Mary and our conversation. It was at that time that I made the decision to go to college and there was no question that I would become a nurse. Finances were a concern, but I knew I would be able to make a difference in someone’s life, the way Mary had in mine.

I was saddened to learn a few years ago that Mary’s life had ended much too early. Geisinger was fortunate to have Mary as part of their team until her untimely passing. But, I am now fortunate to be part of the Geisinger family – because she took the time to care. I still think of Mary and the impact one person can have on your life. One person, one gift, one encouraging conversation can change your entire future.

I am so grateful for the educational assistance and the opportunity to realize my dream of becoming a professional nurse at Geisinger Health System. I hope, like Mary, I am making a positive impact on the lives of others. 
– Teena O’Connor, ASN (pursuing BSN)   
Operations Manager, Neurosciences 
Neurology Ambulatory Care, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center

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