Baby number two was ready to make her appearance, and Jessi Williams ’01 (now Frend) rushed in to Holy Cross hospital for the delivery. On arrival, she was comforted to find a Holy Child alumna, Kelly Decker ’08 (now Shires) there at the check-in desk. They knew each other through the alumnae association, but met through siblings; Kelly’s sister, Susan Decker Raff ‘01, and Jessi’s sister, Allie Williams ‘08. They had spoken about how special it would be to have a Holy Child sister deliver Jack Frend’s little sister. But they couldn’t find a way to make it happen. Now fate intervened, and Jessi couldn’t have been happier.
“Delivering your baby is a very exciting but also an emotionally overwhelming time,” says Jessi. “It was incredibly comforting to have a fellow alum by my side reassuring me and helping me stay comfortable. Kelly made the experience so special. She has a wonderful sense of humor and kept me calm and laughing through most of my delivery. Kelly is fabulous at her job and I feel so blessed that she was there as Libby entered the world.”
Kelly loves her job because of the joy she experiences while bringing life into the world. A graduate of University of Kentucky with a degree in nursing, Kelly began her career at Holy Cross Hospital in January 2013 in the labor unit. Her penchant for science was encouraged during her time at Holy Child. “I think Holy Child does a great job of helping to find that niche that a girl thrives in. For me, it was always science. I loved it from the time I was a kid, but Holy Child definitely let me explore that and take a lot of science classes.” She was led to nursing from seeing the care of a family member, but, she says, “I never would have made it through the nursing prerequisites or been accepted into the nursing program at UK without the strong work ethic Holy Child taught me!”
It’s hard to walk into any D.C. area hospital and not find a Holy Child student who followed their passion into the medical field.
Caroline Cannon ’05 first realized she wanted be a nurse while in the middle of biology class during her freshman year. She graduated with a master’s degree in nursing from George Washington University, and she currently works at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on an adult solid organ transplant unit. There have been quite a few Holy Child alumna she has worked with during her time at MGUH, most notably, Jessica Hull Adams ’02, who works on her same unit.
“Being able to work so closely with a fellow Holy Child alum has been a great experience!” Caroline says. “Even though we never really interacted during our shared time at Holy Child, once we found out we were both alumnae, we had an instant bond. She has become one of my most trusted co-workers.”
Christina Ganassa ’06 graduated from the University of Maryland with a master’s degree in nursing, and went to work at Sibley Hospital in Washington D.C. She’s working in labor and delivery. Christine has bonded with her fair share of Holy Child alumnae as well.
“I went to nursing school with Amy Plamondon ’06. She is a NICU nurse at Shady Grove in Rockville,” she says, for example. “I started thinking about nursing at Holy Child when I took an anatomy and physiology class, taught by Ms. Sutton. That class piqued my interest in science and was a helpful prerequisite to the classes I needed to get into nursing school.”
Christina hopes to inspire a new generation of Holy Child young women to consider a career in nursing, a profession she knows is a special calling.