Life was going according to plan for Megan Parr. It was June and she had just graduated from high school. When the time came to register for classes at BYU, Megan knew exactly what she wanted to do: athletic training. All signed up for her pre-reqs, Megan was ready to dive in. Looking back now, she realizes life had something else in store.
Just a couple days after choosing her classes, Megan, a Lehi-native, had a TIA that led to the discovery of a large hole in her heart. In August she had surgery to get it fixed and one of her nurses, the one who actually took her right after the procedure, was named Jenny.
“I was still coming out of sedation, but what I mostly remember was her talking to me for a while and finding out I went to BYU,” Megan says. “She asked me what I was going to study and I said athletic training. She paused for a second and then said, ‘You shouldn’t do that.’ When I asked why, all she said was that she thought I seemed like I should do nursing. Then she left to go help another patient.”
Later Jenny came back and Megan, a little less sedated, was able to ask why she would be a good nurse. Jenny explained how nurses get to help all kinds of people who are sick, people who really need help. She told Megan that nurses can be the difference between patients making it or not and that despite the huge responsibility, it was worth it.
“She talked to me for a while and I thought about it, but didn’t really take making the change into consideration,” Megan says. “Later that night the shift changed, and she came back in and re-iterated both that I should do nursing and that she taught at BYU. I just said, ‘Ok yeah, sounds good.’”
Later that night Megan had a lot of issues because of her procedure. The nurse who was there helped her with things she couldn’t have done herself. “I felt so dumb,” she says. “But I realized that Jenny was right, and that nurses really are like superheroes.” That night Megan felt prompted she should change her major to nursing, just a month before classes started.
Fast-forward several years and Megan is in her fifth semester as a College of Nursing student. It’s the first day of the ICU clinical prep class and a familiar face stands up to introduce herself to the whole class. “When she stood up I couldn’t stop thinking about how I knew her from somewhere,” Megan says. “She looked so familiar. Then she said her name was Jenny.”
Megan couldn’t hold her excitement in. Her hand shot up and she told Jenny her story. “I had to hold back the tears,” says Jenny Faulk, adjunct faculty member. “It was the biggest reward that you could possibly have. To see somebody that you cared for, whether that be a patient or your students, exceed and excel.”
Jenny has only a fuzzy memory of her exact conversation with Megan, but she feels strongly that there was a reason she was so blunt back then.
“I feel like the Savior can influence our practice,” she says. “He can guide us to direct and help meet people’s needs, even influence them like Megan. It’s an essential part of BYU Nursing, before and after graduation, to learn and lift as we practice the Healer’s art.”
Megan is currently preparing to go to Ghana as a part of her Public and Global Health nursing course this year. She couldn’t be happier with the decision she made five years ago. “It’s been amazing,” she says. “Nursing was definitely what I was supposed to do, it just took Jenny to help me figure it out.”