fbpx
Connect with us

Thrive

Nurse’s family to dedicate beloved camper as ‘oasis’ for traveling medical workers

Avatar

Published

on

Traveling ICU nurse Shannon Lynn Williams passed away Sept. 8. Photos by Joe Opaleski.

Shannon Lynn Williams passed away before she was able to use her brand-new Kodiak travel trailer. Now, the traveling ICU nurse’s family is preparing to use it as an Airbnb for other front-line medical workers.

Williams, who died Sept. 8, was a St. Pete-based Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit nurse, mother, grandmother, fiancé … and “badass aunt.” She is survived by five children and her fiancé, Brent Everett, who are working together to make the Kodiak a tribute to Williams’ life, and a meaningful stay for others in the medical field.

“Her dream had been that she was going to stay in that (camper), and when she wasn’t traveling she would Airbnb it out to other nurses or travelers, because she understood what they’re looking for,” Everett said.

“Shannon’s Oasis.”

As a traveling nurse, Williams was nomadic. According to Everett, her assignments generally lasted 13 weeks, and she frequented states like Indiana and Georgia, where he and family would visit her as often as possible. 

As a teenager, Shannon worked as a candy striper, or volunteer nurse, and worked her way up to becoming a traveling cardiovascular nurse. She was fascinated by the human heart, and wanted to spend her time helping people across the country. 

Traveling nurses are often deployed to help with staff shortages, an ongoing issue during the pandemic, but Williams enjoyed a level of seniority that allowed her to choose her own locations. She still opted to work in some of the hardest-hit locations during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Everett says although Shannon worked the frontlines of Covid ICUs, she was unfazed due to her experience working with SARS, tuberculosis and AIDS patients in her decades-long career. She understood what it took to battle the virus, and would send her family pictures of herself in full personal protective equipment while working in hospitals that were inundated with patients.

Family and friends marveled at the nurse’s upbeat attitude, which likely had to do with the combination of her two passions: helping people and traveling. Williams had always used apartments or long-term rentals during her assignments, but purchased the Kodiak in 2020, which she planned to use for her assignments and leisure travel.

Although Williams was not able to enjoy the camper she was so excited about, her family is using it to pay tribute to her life’s work, as well as to mourn her passing and strengthen their own bonds. They named the Kodiak “Shannon’s Blissful Oasis,” a title her daughter, Bianca Mercado, says “sounds just like the woman she was.”

The camper will follow a purple color theme, Williams’ favorite, and the family will adorn it with items of personal significance to remind other nurses of the meaningful impact they all have on families around the country. Everett says he isn’t sure when the Airbnb will be open, but that it has been an important part of the mourning process and a productive way to honor Shannon.

 

Continue Reading
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Christina Harden-moros

    October 8, 2021at4:25 pm

    Beautiful tribute to my Big Sis!

  2. Avatar

    Reezena Malaska

    October 8, 2021at4:21 pm

    This is wonderful tribute & representative of the Shannon I knew! I first met Shannon travel nursing in South Georgia 2 years ago where we shared the same Air B & B & contracted at same hosp! We became fast friends & eventually shared a house in Indiana for 5 months having gotten the same travel pandemic ICU assignment! Sadly, May 26th was the last time I saw my dearest sister friend alive! Her memories live on in my heart & as I continue to travel nurse in this pandemic I know she is watching over me! RIP! ❤️❤️🙏🙏

  3. Avatar

    Joey Melendez

    October 8, 2021at3:32 pm

    Beautiful!!!

  4. Avatar

    Brenton M Everett

    October 8, 2021at1:51 pm

    Thank you, Joe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment, I have read, understand and agree to the Posting Guidelines.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.