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As Mother’s Day Approaches, Mount Sinai South Nassau Celebrates 3 Brave Mother-Daughter Nurse Teams Who Are Taking on COVID-19 Together

Posted: May. 7, 2020
As Mother’s Day Approaches, Mount Sinai South Nassau Celebrates 3 Brave Mother-Daughter Nurse Teams Who Are Taking on COVID-19 Together

For more than 30 years, Lori Brady, RN, has called Mount Sinai South Nassau “home.” The cardiac rehabilitation nurse considers her colleagues family members who are united in one cause: to care for the sick. But over the past few weeks, working with family also means working with her daughter, Carolyn, 25, also an RN, who left another local hospital to join the Mount Sinai South Nassau front-line staff at the height of the pandemic.

 “I wanted to be back at Mount Sinai South Nassau fighting COVID together with them,” said Carolyn, a former unit secretary in the hospital’s Emergency Department and a 2018 Molloy College graduate.

Both are serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis and both worry for each other’s safety. “It’s very frightening to have your daughter, a young nurse, work in an emergency room let alone in a pandemic,” said Lori, “but we are both comforted by the fact that we have our PPE [personal protective equipment] and the support of the hospital.”

For Lori and her daughter, seeing each other during their shift is a welcome sight. “I’m incredibly proud of her and thrilled to be able to see her [at the hospital] or just drop off a cup of coffee for her,” Lori said.

Said Carolyn: “When I have had a tough day, I have my mom to turn to. She comforts me with her 30 years of nursing experience. We can talk to each other because we know what’s it’s like at the bedside.”

For Teresa Eberhart and her daughter, Leanne, 23, nursing is also a family tradition. Growing up, Leanne always saw her parents “saving people.” On several occasions throughout her childhood, she would witness her mother, Teresa, a nurse educator at Mount Sinai South Nassau, and her father, a Freeport volunteer firefighter, rendering first aid to accident victims when they were off duty.

Nurses Mother and Daughter

Mount Sinai South Nassau mother-daughter nurse teams. Photo left to right: Lori Brady, RN, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and daughter, Carolyn, an Emergency Department RN; Teresa Eberhart, RN, Nurse Educator, and daughter, Leanne, an Emergency Department RN; Carolyn Engel, RN, Nurse Educator, and daughter, Lauren, a Critical Care Unit RN.

So, it was no surprise when Leanne decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and graduated from Adelphi University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“She wanted to emulate us and now we can walk side by side [as nurses], instead of [her walking] behind me,” said Teresa through tears, who with her daughter, now an Emergency Department nurse, has been fighting COVID-19 on the front lines at the hospital. “Now I have someone who knows exactly what I see and what I feel and that’s a great emotional support.”

“We are an outlet for each other,” echoed Leanne, who said her mother often visits her in the Emergency Department before her shift begins and before Leanne’s shift ends. “My colleagues ask each other if we need anything and how our night was, but it holds a lot of meaning for me because it’s coming from my mom.”

Lauren Engel, 23, of Malverne, is a critical care RN at Mount Sinai South Nassau and is a third-generation nurse. Lauren’s mother, Carolyn Engel, is one of the hospital’s nurse educators, and her grandmother served as a critical care nurse at a Brooklyn hospital during the 1970s and 80s. The long list of family members who call nursing their profession also includes her younger sister, Jennifer, 20, a senior in the nursing program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Although Lauren has been assigned to the night shift in the critical care unit for the past two years, caring for the sickest of the sick, she says nothing could have prepared her to work in a pandemic. “I feel that if I can get through this, I can get through anything in my career,” she said. “I feel getting through it, will make me a stronger nurse.”

Her mother, Carolyn, couldn’t be prouder of her daughter. “She is very careful and I always taught her that she has to put on her ‘life vest’ before she can save anyone,” said Carolyn, who was deployed to support the front-line nursing staff during the crisis. “I’ve always given her the tools to figure things out. My role as a parent is to give her the paddles, not to row the boat for her.”

About Mount Sinai South Nassau
The Long Island flagship hospital of the Mount Sinai Health System, Mount Sinai South Nassau is designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for outstanding nursing care. Mount Sinai South Nassau is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,500 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services and operates the only Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County, along with Long Island’s only free-standing Emergency Department in Long Beach.

In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, Mount Sinai South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and offers Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. Mount Sinai South Nassau operates the only Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County verified by the American College of Surgeons as well as Long Island’s only free-standing, 9-1-1 receiving Emergency Department in Long Beach. Mount Sinai South Nassau also is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons; is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program; and an Infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence. For more information, go to mountsinai.org/southnassau.