“When the pandemic hit, the whole atmosphere changed,” said Lauren Brown.
“You didn’t think it would happen here, and when it started, it was like a whirlwind,” added Lacie.
The 21-year-old fraternal twins graduated from Oklahoma City Community College in December. They quickly got jobs, and the sisters now work together in the ICU at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City, treating critically ill patients and Covid-19.
To say that twins are inseparable is an understatement.
“We never had to face any situation alone,” said Lauren.
They played the same sports in high school, went to the same university to earn their college degrees, and are now both pursuing their master’s degree in nursing at Oklahoma Southwest State University.
“We’ve always had each other. I can’t imagine it differently; it just sounds lonely,” Lacie joked in an interview with CNN.
The twins had an early interest in the medical field and decided to become nurses when they were about 12 years old after the family experienced a health crisis.
“My brother Hunter was diagnosed with leukemia at age 16,” Lacie explained.
The family spent a lot of time in the hospital, seeing firsthand how much a compassionate and empathetic nurse could do to help patients and their families heal.
“Just looking at the impact the nurses made really changed for me,” said Lacie.
“The nurse is that person who is there for you day after day to see that person improve.”
“It not only changed her life, it also changed our entire family,” added Lauren.
Her brother, now in complete remission, also works as a nurse.
For the Browns, helping patients, and their loved ones, is a family business.
“I find it really important to find that connection, they need someone to take them by the hand and accompany them like the nurses did for our family,” said Lacie.
In this together
Frontline nurses around the world are recognizing the physical and emotional cost this pandemic has charged them. Both Lauren and Lacie say this experience is stressful, but they attribute each other the strength to move on.
“We don’t have to explain it, we could walk together,” said Lacie.
“We are built-in best friends, and I can’t imagine it differently,” Lauren agreed.