Amy Turgeon Sevigny '99 on Founding The Sisters Wish

April 19, 2016

Amy Sevigny

We chatted with Amy about her work at the Boston Children's Hospital — and on founding The Sisters Wish!

What was your major at Simmons and what's your current job title?

Nursing. My current title is Staff Nurse II. 

What's a typical day like at the Children's Hospital? 

I work on a medical inpatient unit that cares for medically complex children. It's 12 hours of providing care for children and their families as they battle with a number of challenging medical conditions.

Every day is very different! Mostly my day consists of nursing assessments, medication administration, assisting with tests and procedures, dressing changes, working with medical equipment, admitting and discharging patients, collaborating with peers — and of course lots of documentation.

What's your favorite part of your work as a nurse? 

I love spending time with my patients, especially finding extra time to have dance parties with them! They look forward to it as much as I do!

What inspired you and your sister to found The Sisters Wish

My brother was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 4 and I was 9. During our childhood we spent a good portion of our life in various hospitals meeting lots of different children and families who were ill. When my brother turned 18 and was on his 10th relapse of cancer, we as a family realized that there weren't many services for chronically ill young adults. 

Chronologically he was an "adult," but emotionally he really wasn't. When thinking about a future career after college the thought of losing his insurance if he made a little money was scary! And frankly being a chronically ill young adult is scary. He wanted to have his own apartment and make his own money — but — if he did and got sick and was in the hospital for a few weeks to a month he would lose it all.

Tragically my brother passed away a few days after my father. My sister and I turned our grief into action and developed The Sisters Wish. We want to help those in similar situations to our brother Craig.

What type of work does The Sisters Wish do? What's your favorite part of your work?

The Sisters Wish grants wishes to terminally and/or chronically ill young adults from the ages of 18-30 who reside in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Our hope is their wish will in someway help their quality of life.

I love seeing the faces of wish recipients when their wish has been granted. I always hope that we are making a difference in their quality of life, which is so important in patients with chronic illness.

What's the best career advice you've gotten along the way? 

I had a wonderful nursing clinical instructor at Simmons who saw my love for children in my first pediatric rotation. She had told me as a student to always trust my patients' parents intuition as they know their children best. That has stuck with me throughout the years and I have passed it along as it's a very important lesson for a nurse to learn!

What woman do you most admire?

Not to be cliché, but Oprah is a woman I admire. She's a strong leader, great advocate and does so many wonderful things for others. She's not looking for recognition, she just does what's right.

What's your Simmons moment?

There are so many. Between making lifelong friends, great memories, nursing clinical experiences, playing field hockey, living in the dorms and working at Quad Side cafe — all of these experiences are so dear to my heart and why I love Simmons!