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news News Friday, December 11, 2020 Friday, December 11, 2020 1:23 PM - Friday, December 11, 2020 1:23 PM

Talented patient credits nurses for life-transforming care – and her new career goal

Talented patient credits nurses for life-transforming care – and her new career goal

It was only one day after she underwent surgery to correct a curving spine that Lorryn, then 15, picked up her guitar again for the first time. The melodies of her favorite Ed Sheeran songs that left her fingers as she played with surprising comfort soon transitioned into the anthem of her home state of Tennessee.

“There was a boy who had surgery the same day as me who was listening to me play,” Lorryn said. “He was a big Volunteers fan, so I played Rocky Top for him – which seemed to really cheer him up.”

Lorryn, who is not only a guitarist but also a violinist, singer and artist, started her journey with scoliosis at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville when she was 13. Doctors first monitored her closely to see if a brace might be an option for the talented girl from Newport. But when she experienced a 17-degree progression in her curve in the short span of six months, it became clear that surgery would be the necessary form of treatment.

“I was having problems with mobility as well as pain,” Lorryn remembered. “I was ready for the operation, but I didn’t know my time in the hospital would be so fun.”

Fun?

“All of the nurses – from surgery to the inpatient floor – made my experience incredible. Even at night time, when it was really difficult to get out of bed, and hard being away from home, they made the experience enjoyable. They immediately felt like family to me.”

Now 16 and on track to graduate from her high school homeschool studies in 2021, Lorryn’s goal is to return to the Greenville Shriners Hospital to work one day as a registered nurse. Set to start her college career at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee, she says she always knew she wanted to be a pediatric nurse – but now she knows exactly where she will pursue her “dream job.”

Meanwhile, in the nurses’ station of the unit where Lorryn once received life-changing care, there hangs a drawing she created – waiting for her return.

Lorryn standing in hospital with other staff members