A Family Affair: Mother-Daughter Duo Helps Fight COVID-19 at SMML

Mom 4W and Daughter ER at SMML_Shannon Dorchak

Linda (left), an RN on 4 West, and her daughter Shannon (right), an RN in the ED

LIVONIA – For many colleagues, the staff at St. Mary Mercy Livonia feels like family. For daughter Shannon Dorchak, an RN in SMML’s Emergency Department, and her mother Linda McGrath, an RN on 4 West, the connection is more than a feeling. This mother-daughter pair has worked together at SMML since 2004, and continue to cheer each other on through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though some may be hesitant about working with family, Shannon and Linda enjoy working together. According to Shannon, “Both of us have worked there for so long and truly have worked all over the entire hospital – we feel like we know everyone! It’s also nice to have someone that understands the things going on so you can decompress.”

Linda agreed, mentioning that she loves working alongside her daughter, and that she “could not have been more proud when [Shannon] told me that she wanted to be a nurse.”

When asked how work has changed since the arrival of COVID-19, Shannon said that while things have been stressful, the situation is improving. She stated, “I think we all collectively agree that you feel like you haven’t done enough, held enough hands, or said enough prayers for patients… Thankfully, these last two weeks have eased up, and some stress has been lifted.”

The pandemic has struck especially close to home. Linda was diagnosed with COVID-19 and has been home resting. Fortunately, she is recovering and doing better every day. Linda shared that while the virus has been “physically and emotionally draining,” she wants to help others fight it. She wrote, “My calling in life is to take care of people, and I need to get back to help others… I think this illness will make me stronger and give others encouragement that if I can beat it, they can too. I need to be back on the front line helping my coworkers.”

According to Shannon, Linda has always been her “ultimate motivator.” She wrote, “Mom entered back to school when all five of her kids were in school full time. Even though I was so young I remember being so proud and excited for her. She has always been a huge support and motivator for me in my personal and professional life!”

St. Mary Mercy Livonia is thankful for colleagues like Linda and Shannon, and is proud to have generations of families caring for our community.