NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A nurse in Nacogdoches has found that her life’s journey has come full circle; she works in the same neonatal intensive care unit she was kept in after being prematurely born.
Georganne McClain is 27 years old, but she started her life on the edge. She was born at 26 weeks - three months from term.
Georganne graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University’s nursing school in 2015 and went to work as a medical-surgical nurse in nearby Lufkin.
Children’s Memorial Hospital in Houston featured the Nacogdoches native in a special feature during Nurse’s Week in early May. Georganne said she could’ve never guessed it, but her dream job brought her life full circle.
“So I had known I wanted to get into the NICU, but I didn’t really know what to expect because I’d never really been into a NICU before, other than when I was there, but obviously I don’t remember that,” Georganne said. “So, I hear my mom’s stories and my dad’s stories about what they went through, but going into my first NICU job was super overwhelming.”
However, Georganne said the stories her mother has told her over the years have better prepared her for the emotions she would encounter, both in the NICU and with the parents visiting their newborns.
“Seeing that first premature baby who was 26 weeks, a pound; I mean it was crazy to just see the similarities of it,” Georganne explained. “Looking at this baby and seeing how small it is, this is what my mom was looking at when she saw me.”
Georganne added that she hoped she could provide compassion to parents, and hoped every child she meets has a bright future, similar to what she’s accomplished.
Children’s Memorial has a EverydayWell health blog, where the hospital shares inspirational stories, including Georganne’s. If you’d like to read her entire story, you can do so by visiting the hospital’s blog.
Time passes quickly for Brinda McClain. To her, it seems like only yesterday that she was holding her premature daughter, Georganne.
“I can’t believe she’s 27 and she’s where she is now," Brinda said while flipping through a baby memory book.
“You can kinda see his finger compared to her arm,” Brinda said while pointing to her husband’s arm while holding his little girl.
Over and over, Brinda and Mike McClain would tell their growing daughter about being born at Houston’s Hermann Hospital and the three months they spent together in its neonatal intensive care unit.
What Georganne heard made an impression.
“Memorial Hermann was definitely my dream job. And I told mom that multiple times,” Georganne said. “Whenever I was calling her she was the one crying about it, so it was full circle for both of us,” Georganne recalled about the day she got the job.
For the last three years, Georganne has been caring for tiny newborns in what now is called, Children’s Memorial Hermann. The hospital featured the women’s unique story in a video for Nurse’s Week.
Georgann said in the production, “When she had me she already lost one premature boy, and she was thinking, ‘I can’t lose another baby.’ She would always tell me it’s a miracle nothing is wrong with you, that everything is OK.”
That message, Georganne says, gave her insight into the importance of showing compassion toward the parents of a premature baby.
“I think the first time she saw a 26-week-old baby she knew how I felt,” Brinda said.
“Yeah, it was crazy to see a 26-weeker, maybe one or two pounds and think that was me. That’s kinda the situation my parents walked into when I was born.," Georganne said.
Joining the women in their full-circle story are some of Georganne’s co-workers, including her supervisor, the doctor who took care of her as an infant.
“And so to get to meet him, interact with him is always just a joy,” Georganne said.
Georganne is thankful for her parents in sharing the anxiety of caring for a preemie.
“And with the ventilator, you know, it’s scary to hold them with all that,” Brinda said, pointing to another picture of her newborn daughter.
“It’s cool to come full circle and have that but a good perspective as well,” Georganne said.
It’s a perspective that can help this NICU nurse know how to best care for her fragile patients.