“For 10 straight years, it was just hospitals, doctors and nurses,” says Macey Parker on why she wanted to become a nurse after losing her older sister, Amanda, to a brain tumor. “But it was the nurses who really impacted our life, and I wanted to be that for someone else.”
Her father, Steven Parker, encouraged his daughter every step of the way.
“Every student goes through a lull in nursing school,” says Steven. “So, I challenged Macey—encouraged her to finish.”
The challenge? Finish strong and he would take her diving with the sharks off the coast of Hawaii where the sharks are 13 to 14 feet in size. It was a bucket list item for the self-proclaimed adrenaline junky, Macey.
“I am a daddy’s girl,” says Macey. “Emotionally, he supports my adrenaline needs. I am not crazy enough to do these things alone, my dad must do it, too.”
Besides the sharks, Macey’s favorite adventure might have been sky diving and a trip to Dublin, Ireland. The next adventure includes hang gliding and a visit to Italy.
Macey and her siblings were home schooled. Visiting all 48 contingent states and 10 countries was part of their education. They have one state left on the list—Alaska.
“Our goal was to get our children to all the states,” says Steven. “We missed it by five prior to losing Amanda.”
Today, the Parkers work together at the IU Health Frankfort Hospital. Steven has served as the facilities manager the past five years and was instrumental in opening the new hospital building in 2020. Macey joined the team in 2019 as an Emergency department tech while completing nursing school.
“In her first year as a nurse, Macey received the Nurse Excellence Award,” says Steven. “This year she was recognized with a DAISY Award. She is the nurse she set out to be, and we are so proud of her.”
Steven gets his steps in by walking to the inpatient area of the hospital to get a glass of water and to say hello to his daughter.
“I love working with my dad,” says Macey. “If I get stressed, I can take a walk to his office and vent. He listens then sends me on my way.”
She did not stand alone, but what stood behind her, the most potent moral force in her life, was the love of her father – Harper Lee