Teacher Jessie Dupre, 24, was in the middle of a lesson in her fifth grade classroom when she got a severe pain in her chest. She stopped teaching and headed straight to the Emergency Department at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.
A chest scan revealed a tumor that was pushing on her trachea and heart – compromising her breathing and heart function. Dupre was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Devastated by the news, Dupre prepared to receive chemotherapy treatment at Lahey. The experience turned out to be very different than she expected.
“The people in the infusion center, they kind of became family,” Dupre said. “I saw them almost every single day. They’d tell me about their weekend, show me a picture of their family or just check in to see how I was doing.”
Nurse Sandy Hiney, who helped to care for Jessie, couldn’t help but feel a special connection to her patient, who is the same age as her own daughter.
“I would want my own daughter to have the same care if she was sick,” Hiney said.
After 18 weeks of treatment and six rounds of therapy, Dupre is now in remission.
“I think the biggest thing I learned during this time was just how important relationships are,” said Dupre. “And also how important it is to love people because there were so many people who were there for me.”