By Wyndi Kappes
After a lifetime working with children and caring for babies at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), Katy Cown embarked on her own trek to motherhood. While she initially thought it would be smooth sailing, numerous hurdles, multiple failed procedures and countless tears later, she still wasn’t pregnant. Despite these challenges, she never lost hope. Finally, in November 2020, after five years of trying, she received a positive pregnancy test. But that was only just the beginning.
Cown heroically spent the next year caring for her patients during the Covid pandemic. Despite changing information and working throughout her pregnancy, Cown never lost sight of “the person in the bed before I got to the nursing,” adding, that “there’s nothing better than being able to be that person that provides a moment of levity during a dark time.”
As an Administrative Resource Nurse, not only was Cown a support system and advocate for patients but also a stronghold for her coworkers. “She coordinates Christmas parties, Nurses Week and graduate celebrations—a million moving pieces for her unit,” coworkers said in gratitude for her support. “She has put together support groups for young nurses facing difficult issues like miscarriage and infant mortality, and she assists with supply drives for children in the hospital who don’t have families able to provide for their basic needs. She is the epitome of what a nurse should be.”
While a support system for so many, Cown, unfortunately, had to navigate many of her prenatal appointments alone due to hospital restrictions. “It was this thing we had waited so long for and now I was doing it by myself,” Cown shared. Not one to let hardships deter her, though, Cown and her partner Amanda “made the best of a bad situation and tried not to let it dampen our pregnancy excitement,” communicating regularly with her partner and asking questions of her doctor.
Many long yet incredible months later, Cown and her partner are now proud parents to 20-month-old Winona, and Cown is back at her post as a stronghold for those who need her most. “I have been lucky in this life to have been put in the position to make an impact on others’ lives through my work,” Cown shared. “As a nurse, we are often in the room of patients and families during some of their most difficult times, and every once in a while, we get the chance to make a difference.”