Those Who Serve: Family Business Becomes Nursing Legacy | NBC Nightly News


THEIR FAMILIES. AND AS YOU’RE ABOUT TO SEE, FAMILY IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THEM. IT’S MUSIC TO OUR EARS, THE SOUND OF NEW LIFE.>>THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A BABY BEING BORN.>>AT SPECTRUM HEALTH BUTTERWORTH HOSPITAL IN GRAND RAPIDS, ANOTHER BUNDLE OF JOY BECOMES PART OF ONE FAMILY’S REMARKABLE NURSING LEGACY. THEY ARE THREE GENERATIONS OF MATERNITY NURSES.>>WE HAVE PROBABLY CARED FOR AT LEAST 10,000 FAMILIES AND BABIES.>>THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH IS JUST — JUST GIVES ME CHILLS.>>MATRIARCH MARY LOU WILKINS, NOW RETIRED, STARTED HER NURSING CAREER IN THE 1950s, BACK WHEN NURSES WORE WHITE DRESSES INSTEAD OF SCRUBS, AND DADS TOOK A SEAT IN THE WAITING ROOM.>>WHEN THE BABY WAS BORN, THE DOCTOR WENT AND TOLD THEM WHAT THEY HAD.>>ALL RIGHT. I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU BACK TO YOUR MAMA.>>Reporter: HER DAUGHTER, SUE HOKSTRA, SAYS IT WAS PRACTICALLY A GIVEN THAT SHE WOULD JOIN HER MOM.>>IT JUST WASN’T EVER A QUESTION. I WANTED TO FOLLOW IN MY MOM’S FOOTSTEPS.>>THE TORCH ALMOST ENDED WITH SUE, UNTIL HER DAUGHTER, CHRISTINA, DECIDED TO ALSO PURSUE NURSING INSTEAD OF MUSIC.>>SHE LIT THE PATH. SHE LIT THE WAY FOR ME.>>CHRISTINA AND SUE WERE BOTH ON HAND WHEN LITTLE JACK VEREEKEN WAS BORN.>>THEY’RE A DYNAMIC DUO. WE ALSO BECAME PART OF THEIR FAMILY, AND THEY BECAME PART OF OURS. IT WAS REALLY SPECIAL.>>IT JUST DOESN’T GET OLD. AFTER 36 YEARS, I STILL LOVE GOING EVERY DAY.>>AND WITH SEVEN DECADES OF INFANT EXPERIENCE AMONG THEM, THEY’VE GOT A LOT OF BABY ADVICE TO SHARE.>>LEARN TO RIDE A BIKE. YOU GOT TO GIVE YOURSELF LOTS OF PRACTICE. LOTS OF REPETITION. AND IT WILL GET BETTER.>>I TELL THEM TO TAKE IT A DAY AT A TIME. SOMETIMES AN HOUR AT A TIME.>>AND TRY TO TAKE A NAP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS.>>THREE NURSES DEVOTED TO EACH OTHER AND TO HELPING DELIVER SOME OF LIFE’S MOST PRECIOUS MOMENTS. AND WHAT A WONDERFUL CALLING THEY’VE ANSWERED. IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO SERVES IN MEDICINE, MILITARY, LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR SOME OTHER CAPACITY, AND YOU THINK THEY HAVE A STORY WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT, PLEASE DROP US A NOTE ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

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