How one nurse pays it forward
In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Meggan Mikal listens intently to the challenges that children and families face as they confront often life-threatening and complex conditions.
Touched by their stories and passionate in her pursuit to enhance their quality of life, Meggan, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., embraces her role as their on-site advocate. For the past 11 years since she started as a staff nurse in the very same PICU, she’s witnessed firsthand their challenging journeys within the hospital walls and is moved by the difficulties they’ve had to endure. She’s devoted her life to caring for the children and their families.
Still, Meggan yearns to do more for her patients, and to help them even after they’ve left her care. Inspired by the courage of her patients and their families, she takes action on their behalf by giving to Advocate Health Care’s Associate Giving Campaign, an annual initiative in which associates and physicians can make donations to a hospital or program, providing vital funds to important causes.
“I want to make an impact and help these children live to their fullest. I want them to have a good, comfortable quality of life when they return home,” she says. “My desire is to do all I can to help them while they are in my care as a patient, of course. But, I also feel the need to go beyond that. Through philanthropy, fundraising and the Associate Giving Campaign, I’ve been able to help kids even after they leave the hospital. Working with other pediatric caregivers, we’ve started a Palliative and Supportive Care Program here. The program helps children and families live as well as possible, for as long as possible, even when facing very difficult conditions.”
With continued philanthropic funding, the Pediatric Palliative and Supportive Care Program provides support in the treatment of pain and distressful symptoms and assistance in care coordination through physical, emotional, social and spiritual means.
“The families and children I have met over my 11 years of working at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn continue to motivate and inspire me,” says Meggan. “It is because of them that I will continue to give.”
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