A journey inspired by whaanau and manaakitanga

Shannon Taylor knows the importance of whaanau and it was this special bond that led her to our doors, to help care for her sister.

In July 2021, Shannon’s life changed dramatically when her sister, Corrina, was involved in a motor vehicle accident, leaving her paralysed from the neck down, at the tender age of 24.

Corrina spent two months in ICU at Middlemore Hospital.

“My sister is the strongest person I know. She barely batted an eyelash when she was told she is paralysed from the neck down and will never walk again. Knowing it would be a very difficult journey, she remained hopeful, and together we learnt we can conquer anything life throws at us. I can’t express how proud I am of my sister,” says Shannon.

Shannon lived and worked in the Bay of Plenty and worked as a nurse at Whakatane Hospital, but left her job in September 2021 to move to Auckland to be by her sister’s side and help care for her.

During this time, Shannon also found a job she loves, right here our Emergency Department (ED).

“Working in Middlemore Hospital has been such a pleasant experience. I have never worked in such a supportive environment. Having your strengths identified in the workplace are super encouraging, and the learnings are continuous.”

Corrina has now been discharged to our Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit and Shannon continues her job in ED, happy to be near her sister.

Not long after moving to Auckland, Shannon was hit with more news with her close friend Darlene, a mother of seven, diagnosed with cancer. Since the diagnosis, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and surrounding the pancreas.

On Wednesday 16 February 2022, standing in solidarity with her friend, sister, and other whaanau affected by life-altering injuries and diseases, Shannon shaved her head to raise funds for both her friend and her sister. 

“I felt a sense of relief as soon as I chopped the first strand of hair off. Every piece of hair cut following was an overwhelming sense of calmness. It was very a special time. Especially being so far away from home, I felt my tipuna with me every step.

“A total of $1450 has been raised by 36 generous donors via give-a-little and into the account opened specifically for this fundraiser.”

Shannon’s touching story is another example of our staff living our values – especially kindness (manaakitanga) and together (kotahitanga).

You can find out more about the fundraiser here https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/by-standing-in-solidarity-with-my-friend-sister

Image below:

Shannon – bottom (left with mask) and Corrina.

Darlene – right



We love celebrating the great achievements and work from our staff here at Counties!

Keen to be part of the part of our team where your mahi matters?

Check out our clinical and non-clinical roles here: https://careers.countiesmanukau.health.nz/working-here/


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