Meet Nurse Baylee: “You see the light in all the darkness.”

Nurse Baylee Full-Size Blog Image 05.21.2020

Can a Facebook post change your life? It did for Riley Nurse Baylee Messamore. 

Baylee shared her story with us in a Q & A. We hope you will enjoy learning more about one of the health care heroes taking care of kids in Riley Hospital for Children.

Q:  What drew you to a career in nursing and your role at Riley?

 A:   I've been at Riley on the Stem Cell Transplant/Renal Unit for nearly two years. There isn’t one exact thing that drew me into nursing as a whole, but I do remember the exact thing that made me want to be a pediatric oncology nurse. I always knew I wanted to do something healthcare related. When I went into nursing school, I was dead set on becoming a Labor and Delivery Nurse. I ended up getting a tech/nurse's aide position on an adult oncology floor my first year of nursing school and I just ended up falling in love with it. 

I was going through Facebook and saw one of those viral posts about a little boy who had rhabdomyosarcoma and was getting ready to start another round of treatment. His mom posted a picture of him lying down on this little rug. I vividly remember reading it and then spending an hour or two reading every single post on the Facebook page his family had set up for him. After that day, I knew this was what I was meant to do. It's so odd to think that a Facebook post can change your life, but for me, it 100 percent did. I had NEVER even thought about pediatrics before that. So, I'll always remember him and his family.

Q:  What are some of the best parts about your job?

A:  Hands down, the best part is the relationships I form with my patients and their families. Like I said, I've only been here for about two years and there are already so many families and kids who I will never forget. I hate that the treatment they receive is so lengthy, but I love coming to work knowing that these kids are going to be here, and then getting to form those really special relationships and bonds. I love that I can wake up and be excited to go to work and see my patients. There's nothing like having a patient be excited when you walk in the room because they know and trust you.

Q:  Our social media team has been following the story of one of your stem cell transplant patients, Charlie Smith, who has formed a special bond with you. What has it been like working with Charlie and his family? Are there special moments that stand out in your memory?

A:  Oh, my goodness, they're awesome! Charlie is so fun, even on the days where he feels really crummy. Stephanie and Cody are great, too! They are so involved in his care and just have a good attitude about everything. A moment that stands out to me is when either Cody or Stephanie stepped out to switch laundry over (so they were gone maybe three minutes) and Charlie said he wanted to hide under his blanket. The smile on his face when he put the blanket over my head to make me hide with him, then the laugh he let out when he heard them come back was just so funny. It makes you see the light in all of the darkness that such a terrible illness can cause. So many moments are fun with him!

Q:  What additional challenges has the COVID situation presented?

A:  The only challenge that I have faced is just fewer in-person resources. I think the worst part about all of this is what the patients and families are going through. A lot of my patients are here for at least 4-8 weeks. That's 4-8 weeks with one family member here. It's hard to watch my patients and their families want so badly to be with both parents, or their siblings, or grandparents. Being in the hospital is already hard, and this just breaks my heart for them. I think something to remember, especially right now, is that even though a lot of people's lives are on somewhat of a hold, there are still kids getting cancer, still, kids being diagnosed with kidney disease, etc. And from that moment on, their lives are on hold for A LONG TIME.

Q:  What should people know about the nursing team at Riley?

A:  Riley is truly a special place. I have worked for other hospitals and they were great, but nothing compares to Riley. The overall environment is just different. It FEELS good to walk in these doors. It's very obvious that the people who work at Riley, love it here. I am so blessed to be a part of this team.

Q:  What does it mean to you personally when people donate to support Riley?

A:  When people donate to Riley, or even share something about donating, I feel like what we all do is 100 times more worth it. We can only do so much with what we are given. When people donate, we are given more opportunities to actually do more for these kids and their families. Every bit of new research that comes out means new treatment and more success stories. Every dollar donated to Child Life gives our amazing Child Life Specialists more resources to put a smile on a kid's face. Every scholarship means a new face that could change someone's life here at Riley. It's so much bigger than just a "few dollars" or even a thousand dollars. These are life-changing things.

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Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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