The year was 2007 and I was getting ready for my youngest child to begin kindergarten. This new chapter in my daughter’s life brought her excitement, but for me it brought fear.
You see, the youngest of my four children has severe life-threatening food allergies – so the idea of sending her into an environment I could not control was slightly terrifying. I had spent 5 1/2 years reading food labels and making sure milk and nuts never came near her. The thought of her at school gave me anxiety.
Luckily for us we had nurse Anne McGavran. She didn’t mind that I started asking questions a whole year before kindergarten even started. She talked and walked me through it…. all the safety precautions they were prepared to take…calm assurance it would be okay.
She set up the meticulous 504 plan; worked with her teachers; talked to the lunch ladies. Nurse Anne was invaluable.
Even on the day I accidentally sent my child the wrong sandwich in her lunch. I got the call. By the time I’d even arrived at Cascade View, Anne was there. She’d immediately left SES, arriving in minutes to monitor my daughter.
It only took 10 minutes and two small bites of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which she thought was soy nut butter and jelly). I arrived and found Anne taking my daughter’s blood pressure and helping as she violently vomited up the food her body was treating as poison.
Anne was our calm in the storm. It happened a decade ago, but the appreciation and gratitude still runs deep.
This week the Snoqualmie Valley School District announced that Anne McGavran was named the Washington State School Nurse of the Year by the School Nurse Association of Washington (SNOW).
According to the announcement, the “prestigious award recognizes positive student response, leadership, quality health care, clinical judgement and collaboration.”
The award will be presented to ‘Nurse Anne’ at the SNOW State Conference next fall.
McGavran has worked in the Snoqualmie Valley School District for 12 years. The previous 14 years she was an oncology nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Anne is now SVSD’s elementary school lead nurse and serves students at Cascade View Elementary and Snoqualmie Elementary schools.
For those who are parents to children with chronic and/or life-threatening health issues, school nurses are our life line. They allow our kids to be at school, enjoy school and feel safe.
Thank you to all the wonderful SVSD school nurses who look out for our kids when we can’t be there. And congratulations Nurse Anne!