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By Tufts Medicine
Emily Thayer, RN, Oncology Nurse, Lowell General Hospital
At the age of 10, Emily Thayer was told the devastating news. Her mother had cancer.
“I helped take care of her for five years, changing her dressings, getting her anything she needed. Before she passed, she told me I would make a great nurse.” Today, Emily works in the oncology unit of Lowell General Hospital, giving medical and personal support to those undergoing chemotherapy. “These patients come in every week and I build relationships with them. They become like family. I think my mother would be very proud.”
Michael Signori, RN, Operating Room Nurse, Tufts Medical Center
Michael “Sig” Signori has served for more than 23 years in the United States Army, spending time as both pilot and a public affairs officer. “Flying helicopters afforded me the opportunity to meet many people. Among them, nurses and medics. I was drawn to their efforts to provide the best possible care to those valiantly serving our country.” Sig followed the nursing path and joined Tufts Medical Center in July of 2016. “Our OR patients are among the sickest in the city. That adds a new dynamic that requires out-of-the-box thinking. It’s challenging. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Robert Kakuba, RN, Home Care Nurse, Home Health Foundation
Growing up in Uganda, East Africa, Robert Kakuba spent a lot of time caring for his aging grandparents. So it made sense that once he arrived in the U.S. as a student in 1993, he would choose to pursue nursing—specifically, caring for people in their own home. “When you go into the patient’s home, you get to know them. It’s like I’m caring for my own family.” Robert says it reminds him of those days he’d spend helping his grandparents. “There’s joy in my heart knowing I did something to help someone.”
Rachel Leung, RN, Inpatient Floor Nurse, MelroseWakefield Hospital
From early on, Rachel knew she wanted to care for those who were not only physically sick, but struggle with mental health issues. “I wanted to help a vulnerable population, being there to provide support for someone when they are at their lowest point.” She says working on the behavioral health unit can be challenging, but it is made easier by the team she works with. “My colleagues and I are on the same page. We all hope to make a difference.”