“When the epidemic struck, the whole climate changed,” said Lauren Brown.
Lacey added: “You didn’t think this would happen here at all, and when it started, it was like a tornado.”
The 21-year-old twins graduated from Oklahoma City Community College in December. They quickly get jobs, as the sisters now work together at the Intensive Care Unit at the INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City, treating seriously ill patients and Coved 19.
Saying that the twins are inseparable is an understatement.
“We have never had to go into any situation on our own,” said Lauren.
They played the same sport in high school, went to the same college for bachelor’s degrees, and are now pursuing masters degrees in nursing at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
“We’ve always had each other,” Lacey said in a CNN interview. “I can’t imagine it differently; it just seems lonely.”
The twins had 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 the age of sixteen,” Lacey said.
The family spent a lot of time in the hospital, seeing first-hand what a compassionate and sympathetic nurse could do to help patients and their families recover.
“Just seeing the effect the nurses had was changing for me,” Lacey said.
“The nurse is that person over there for you day after day to see this person getting better.”
“He not only changed his life, but also changed our entire family,” said Lauren.
Their brother, now in complete remission, also works as a nurse.
For Browns, helping patients – and their loved ones – is a family business.
“I find it really important to find this connection,” Lacey said. “They need someone to hold their hand and walk through it just like these nurses did to our family.”
In this together
Front-line nurses worldwide acknowledge the physical and emotional losses that the epidemic has inflicted on them. Lauren and Lacie say this experience is stressful, but they trust each other for the strength to keep working.
Lacey said: “We don’t have to explain that, we can walk in it together.”
Lauren agreed, saying: “We are best friends with friends, and I can’t imagine it differently.”