“When the pandemic hit, it changed the whole atmosphere,” said Lauren Brown.
“You didn’t think it would ever happen here, and when it started, it was just a whirlwind,” Lacey added.
The 21-year-old fraternal twins graduated from Oklahoma City College in December. They quickly got to work, and the nurses now work together at the Institute for Medical Treatment at Southwestern INTEGRIS Medical Center in Oklahoma City, treating critically ill and Covid-19 patients.
To say that twins are inseparable is an understatement.
“We’ve never had to get into any situation on our own,” Lauren said.
They played the same sports in high school, went to the same college for their students, and now both are pursuing master’s degrees at the Nursing University at Southwestern State University in Oklahoma.
“We’ve always had each other. I can’t imagine it any other way; it just sounds lonely,” Lacey told CNN.
The twins showed an early interest in medicine 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 16,” Lacey explained.
The family spent a lot of time in the hospital, seeing firsthand how compassionate and empathetic the nurse can do to help patients and their families heal.
“I just saw the impact of the nurses, which really changed for me,” Lacey said.
“The nurse is the person who is there for you every day and out to see this person get better.”
“It not only changed his life, it changed our whole family,” Lauren added.
Their brother, who is 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 hold their hand and run them through it, just like these sisters did for our family,” Lacey said.
In this together
First-line nurses around the world recognize the physical and emotional toll this pandemic has taken. Both Lauren and Lacey say the experience is stressful, but they give each other the strength to move forward.
“We don’t have to explain it, we can just look at it together,” Lacey said.
“We’re built-in best friends, and I can’t imagine it any other way,” Lauren agreed.