Liver Transplant Coordinators, Penn Medicine Transplant Institute

Kristen and Matt Sigafus

"We started at Penn as new nurses on the same day in July 2006. We met in orientation. A group of us would hang out after work or on our days off, and a few of us went to Disney World in 2007. That's where it all started, we were engaged in '08 and married in '09.

We usually don't tell patients we're married but some of them figure it out…usually the women! Some patients are perceptive, and they'll ask, 'Are you related to my nurse or are you related to my nurse practitioner?'

We don't often work directly together anymore, but our paths cross sometimes. When we worked on the transplant unit together, we once had a case where Kristen was caring for the kidney transplant recipient and Matt was caring for the living donor. It's nice that we're both in the transplant field, because we understand each other's career stressors. Some of our favorite memories of our relationship are walking home together from work, just taking those few minutes to decompress and talk.

For both of us, the bond we form with transplant patients is the best part of the job. It's hard to see patients who are sick so we share a common goal - getting our patients back to doing what they want, to live their lives. Many patients live for decades after their transplant and get to see their children get married, grandchildren be born, graduate and so many important milestones.

It's work we do every day, but when we stop and think about it, we get to see some pretty amazing things. Not every day is a miracle, but miracles happen every day."

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