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Ashley and Megan: They needed a friend and found each other

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2013

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Ashley Lee, left, and Megan Reid developed an ever-lasting bond when they were children in need of a friend.

Jim Fair

Ashley Lee, left, and Megan Reid developed an ever-lasting bond when they were children in need of a friend.



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Ashley delivered her first child, a girl, last Friday.

Jim Fair

Ashley delivered her first child, a girl, last Friday. "When I got pregnant (Megan) was the second person I told."



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Jim Fair

"We decided that nursing was such a good job and you could play nurse anywhere."

Megan Reid

Two little girls in need of a friend found each other and became best friends forever.

Their relationship began as sixth graders when other children had their own peer groups.

They are often mistaken for sisters who work in the Med-Surg (medical-surgical) unit at Greer Memorial Hospital, so close is their bond.

Now Ashley Lee and Megan Reid have lives intertwined with former classmates who have become part of their families, careers and the dream of living together in a paradise they have never been to but always want to go.

Ashley delivered her first child, a girl, last Friday. Megan is due to deliver her first child March 11. Their children won’t grow up without a friend.

“In middle school other kids had peers. It was nice to have somebody to like,” Ashley said. “We had tea parties and did everything together. Megan is my best friend.”

“We didn’t like each other at first. Since the first day in sixth grade we always scheduled classes together,” Megan said.

Their friendship matured through their days at Blue Ridge High School and it was there they agreed to enter nursing. “We decided that nursing was such a good job and you could play nurse anywhere,” Megan said.

Although their outgoing personalities and demeanors are complementary they are markedly different.  Ashley and Megan have opposite tastes. “(Ashley) thinks everything should have black pepper on it. She would pepper ice cream,” Megan said, with a laugh.

They are opposites of the point that one home is described as neat and the other – not as neat. They are married and knew each other’s partner growing up.

“When I got pregnant she was the second person I told,” Ashley said. “I was more excited when (Megan) got pregnant.”

“We never got into a fight and we never liked the same boys,” Ashley said. “Our junior year in high school all four of us (future husbands) had been together as friends for eight years.”

While studying nursing Ashley had a part-time job at Mythos. Ashley remembers a chance meeting over a Greek salad she served to a customer. “We were looking for jobs and a customer came in to order the salad and asked how school was. She said the hospital was hiring and said she would pass my name to Valerie (Valerie Douglas, RN Med-Surg Unit at Greer Memorial). Ashley was hired and Megan soon followed.

The medical-surgical unit is a broad area of nursing that requires a solid base of general nursing practice to attend to patients recovering from things like knee surgery, aiding diabetics, Alzheimer’s patients, assisting patients receiving blood transfusions and a myriad of other health care issues. Med-surg nursing has evolved from the suggestion of being perfect for all new nursing jobs to now recognized as a specialty of its own.

“I find it challenging. You can work twelve hours and it will never be the same twelve hours you previously worked,” Ashley said.

“When you like what we do, we want to give every patient the same amount of attention. Sometimes it’s difficult to spread time around to everyone equally. Sometimes one patient is more sick than another,” Megan said.

Their relationship is invaluable during critical times, said Megan. “When I am in a crunch and need a backup she is there. When Ashley says, ‘It’s serious’ I know that means she needs help now.”

Routinely patients will get a lively, upbeat nurse attending to their needs. “People, sometimes, probably think we’re crazy. We just love our jobs,” Ashley said.

Parties, gifts and celebrations are routine for each other’s immediate and extended families. “But we never buy presents for each other. Not for birthdays or Christmas . . .”

They don’t take vacations together because of the nature of their job and taking two nurses away simultaneously cripples staffing needs.

Their storybook friendship has a chapter prepared for when they grow old together. “We know when we want to retire, we’ll be travel nurses and pick a place we’ve never been before.”

And remain best friends forever.

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