BETTENDORF, Iowa — Mother's Day is an annual reminder to celebrate and reflect upon the special relationship we have with our mom.
There's one even more unique at a hospital in Bettendorf, and it's where two sisters have found life-long inspiration from their mother on, and off, the hospital floor.
Hospitals, by nature, are places that consistently change lives. That's certainly true at UnityPoint Health — Trinity in Bettendorf.
"Working together makes it 10 times more fun," Laurel Franks said of working with her sister Alayna Neal.
The two sisters are so close, with both a strong relationship and in the two years and 364 days separating them in age.
Both are also joined at the hip in the BirthPlace on the hospital's second floor.
"We've kind of always joked we've never really had a job without each other," Laurel said, after working waitress jobs and together in the family's previously-owned restaurant.
Turns out, Laurel and Alayna are not the only ones in their family working in the hospital unit.
"Mom has been a nurse for like 30 years," Laurel said.
Those 30 years have always carried the Trinity name for their mom, Megan Neal Dean.
"I applied to Trinity College of Nursing, School of Nursing at the time," Megan said. "I graduated from that program and got my first job at Trinity."
Ever since, the hospital system has felt like a second family, Megan said. It's been like family for Alayna and Laurel, too.
"We have grown up pretty much knowing all the nurses and the nurses have known us since we were babies," Alayna said.
The two sisters practically grew up with Trinity, attending fundraisers and social events and consistently coming for a visit when Megan worked a night shift.
"I don't know how she did it. It was like magic," Alayna said.
"She's literally the glue that holds us all together," Laurel added.
That's high praise for a coworker!
"We maybe work together every couple of weeks," Megan said. "I have to remember don't over-mom them when they're here."
When the mother-daughter team does work together, they are the only family members to work together in the BirthPlace, Megan said.
Megan has spent most of her career in the maternal child services unit at UnityPoint Health Trinity. However, she is also an assistant professor at Trinity College of Nursing, bringing in students regularly to the clinical setting. So even though she works directly with her daughters a few times each month, she sees Alayna and Laurel quite regularly at work.
"I don't know how she gives 100 percent to work and 100 percent to being a mom but she does them both amazingly," Laurel said.
One day each year, we stop to celebrate a mother's special bond. A bond like this, though, will last a lifetime.
"She's SuperMom," Laurel said.
Both Alayna and Laurel credit their mom for inspiring them to work in health care and to become mothers themselves.
Plus, there is some exciting news for the family. Laurel is expecting her first child later this year.
For a list of Mother's Day events happening around the Quad Cities region, just text the word "MOM" to 309-304-0888 and News 8 will send that information right to your phone.