Mary Ann Ridge

I was raised in the Catholic faith, attending Catholic grade schools through 8th grade, and Catholic church, faithfully, but reluctantly, every Sunday, until I got married. It was a good start, but I felt something was missing. I met my husband in 1977, we started dating in 1978, and were married in 1979, in my Catholic church, although I had attended his Baptist church frequently with him. While talking to the priest in our pre-marriage counseling, he suggested that maybe I should convert since I had not received the Sacraments in such a long time. I didn't think much of it at the time. We were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Jennifer Lynn, in 1981. Soon after, we found out that she had a seizure disorder, along with severe central nervous system damage. We were devastated. During this time, members of my husband's church reached out to us, but especially to me, to sustain our faith and nourish our bodies. There were multiple hospitalizations over the next 2 years. Church members would bring a cooler of food and drinks to the hospital for me, and offer prayer for the 3 of us. I had never experienced anything like that before. Jennifer died in December, 1983. If it wasn't for people of faith reaching out to me, I don't know where I would be. I was so angry with God for letting something like this happen to an innocent child. Then I felt guilty for being angry with God. I then came to the realization that it was okay to be angry with God. He's big enough to deal with my anger with Him. I finally "took the plunge" in July of 1984 and was baptized. I wanted to be a bigger part of the church and become stronger in my faith. Fast forward to 1992. We have 2 healthy boys, 3 years and 7 years. I was a stay at home mom watching 3 little boys that were my younger son's age. My husband came home from work one day, and I said, "I want to go to nursing school." I was truly called because that was the furthest thing from my mind growing up. We had never discussed it! I graduated in 1996 from Bellarmine with my BSN. I could feel God's presence every step of the way. Life was good. Matt had started his own business 2 years into my 4 year degree. We were blessed with another baby girl 2 years after I graduated. I worked at Home of the Innocents after graduation. I then moved on to private duty and home health, where every patient made an impact on my life. I started working at Kosair Children's Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in November, 2000. I have been touched by so many lives there, but I also know that I have touched other's lives. I pray for every baby and family I care for, and many that I have never even met. I also know that I could not do this without God by my side, in my heart, in my life. I feel closer to God at work than any where I have ever been. There's something about being so close to his tiniest Angels on Earth. As a new member at Broadway, I look forward to where God will use my gifts here.