Mary Ellen's Story


"My son is alive today because his nurses did more than what was expected of them."

Mary Ellen Reardon, RN
United Memorial Medical Center

Today, Mary Ellen Reardon of Batavia NY is a mom and a nurse, but the road has been bumpy. Soon after her baby, Thomas, was born in 2004, the nurses at Rochester Regional's United Memorial Medical Center identified his life-threatening heart defect. Their early detection enabled Thomas to get the critical care he needed to save his life. 

But that's not the end of the story. Mary Ellen was so inspired by the experience and the impact that nurses had on her baby's life, she decided to be a nurse. "I thought about going to nursing school in the past, but life got in the way," she said. "This experience convinced me to fulfill my dream and pursue my passion for nursing."

The story has a great ending. Thomas, now 11 years old, enjoys hiking and fishing with his two brothers and is thriving as an avid hockey player. And Mary Ellen is a nurse on the very same maternity unit at United Memorial Medical Center where her son was born.

"My experience and the trauma of giving birth to a fragile baby gave me a unique perspective: I can look into the eyes of a mom giving birth and tell her I know exactly what she is going through," said Mary Ellen.

About Nursing at Rochester Regional Health

At Rochester Regional Health, nursing is an integral part of our health system. The profession of nursing is both an art and a science responding to the human condition.

Whether at Rochester General Hospital, Unity Hospital, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, United Memorial, Clifton Springs Hospital or any of our other Rochester Regional Health affiliates, our nurses use a patient-centered care approach that supports the whole person; promotes physical, mental, and spiritual health; and is sensitive to the patient’s and family’s cultural, religious and ethical responses to illness and wellness. Learn more about nursing +