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St. Jude mother, daughter duo saving lives together

Sandy and Megan Murphy share much more than their last name.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sandy Murphy and Megan Murphy are two nurse practitioners who work at St. Jude.

“I do ENT and plastic surgery,” said Megan Murphy. “She does orthopedics."

But the two share much more than their last name. The Murphy’s are mother and daughter.

“Sometimes patients will be like, ‘Oh, y'all are both Murphy's,” said daughter Megan Murphy.  “And it's cool for me to say, ‘That's my mom.’"  

Credit: Sandy and Megan Murphy

Nearly two decades ago, Sandy Murphy went back to school to become a nurse.

“I did it, initially one class at night, every semester,” said mom Sandy Murphy. “So it took me a really long time took about seven years once it was all said and done."

As working mom and wife by day and student by night, Sandy Murphy said the hardest part was finding balance.

Credit: Megan and Sandy Murphy

“They're like, you're not going have time for your family,” said Sandy Murphy. “You're not going be able to go to baseball games and softball games, or your kids school plays is all going be about nursing school. And I'm like, no, that can't happen."

Little did she know her daughter, Megan, was watching. Sandy's determination would inspire her to go into the medical field, too.

“It was definitely hard not having her around, you know, doing clinicals and stuff,” said Megan Murphy. “But it set a great example for me."

Megan Murphy followed in her mother's footsteps, also becoming a nurse practitioner. Who would have thought, years later, they'd work in the same hospital, treating some of the same patients?

"I feel like we think very similarly," said Megan Murphy. "We have a lot of in-patients who need surgery, like the orthopedic surgeon and the plastic surgeon, so that's like cool that kind of coordinate those."

Credit: Megan and Sandy Murphy

They’ve worked together for years. Sandy Murphy started at St. Jude 14 years ago. Megan Murphy joined the team nine years ago. Over the years, and even in the middle of a pandemic, they've learned to work together.

“One thing that makes it very easy is I do enjoy being with her a lot," said Sandy Murphy.

“What I love most about my mom is that I'm very type A, and sometimes I can get kind of like, wound up and just, like, stressed out,” said Megan Murphy. “She was always there to, like, calm me down and be like, ‘It's going be okay, like, you can do it’."