Brigham and Women’s Hospital mourns the loss of Lauren Alessandro, BSN, RN, of Braunwald Tower 12BC, Orthopaedics, who was known for the compassionate way she cared for both her patients and colleagues. She died unexpectedly on Oct. 15. She was 37 years old.
“Lauren’s heart and soul will forever be woven into the fabric of BWH’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,” said Christina Foley, MSN, RN, of Tower 12BC. “The genuine compassion, fierce advocacy and intelligence she exhibited in her daily practice were unparalleled. Her legacy will live on in the hundreds of Brigham nurses who were lucky enough to have been mentored by her.”
Mrs. Alessandro, who earned her BSN from Regis College, was a member of the Brigham community for 10 years, during which time she formed deep connections with patients, families and colleagues on the Orthopaedics unit.
“If you were working alongside Lauren and she was not around, it was because she was busy providing her patients with the TLC and support that they needed,” said Alexander Machajewski, MSN, RN, CNL, nursing director of Tower 12BC. “She truly embodied what we describe as a ‘Brigham nurse.’ She is loved by many in Orthopaedics and will be greatly missed.”
Regina Riley, BSN, RN, of Tower 12BC, began her career on the unit working with Mrs. Alessandro. “Lauren was one of the most caring, attentive people I have ever worked with,” said Riley. “She was someone you could always go to when you had a question or needed help. She always put others’ needs in front of her own.”
Those qualities made Mrs. Alessandro a supportive preceptor for new nurses on the unit.
“When I walked into work, especially being a new nurse, I immediately felt comfortable when I saw Lauren,” said Katie Copeland, BSN, RN, of Tower 12BC. “She was so approachable, and no matter what she was doing or how busy she was, she’d stop to help you if you needed.”
Mrs. Alessandro spent abundant time with new nurses to answer questions and connect them with resources.
“She would do a deep dive to help you find answers if you were lost,” Copeland said. “She was there for me as charge nurse and personal support when my first patient, who started declining, eventually passed away. I don’t really want to imagine the rest of my day shifts without Lauren.”
Mrs. Alessandro’s care for her colleagues also included significant moments in their personal lives.
“When my sister’s boyfriend passed away a few years ago, Lauren reached out right away and wrote me the sweetest message,” said Kassidy Capillo, BSN, RN, of Tower 12BC. “And when I was pregnant, she went out of her way to find my registry and bought me a gift when she didn’t have to. She was a selfless, caring and thoughtful person.”
Coni Bernales, BSN, RN, of Tower 12BC, echoed these sentiments and reflected on how she had formed a connection with Mrs. Alessandro after just six months of working together.
“We shared many days in which we would all talk for hours,” Bernales said. “I hope she is somewhere better, and she’s remembering all the amazing things she lived and the great people in her life.”
Being an aunt was one of the joys of Mrs. Alessandro’s life, her colleagues say. “I will miss coming into work, seeing her smiling happy face and hearing stories about her nieces and nephews and how happy they made her,” said Riley.
Mrs. Alessandro is survived by her husband, Dennis Alessandro; parents Judith (Kinahan) and Dennis Macdonald; siblings Molly Lukas and her husband, Edward, Jillian Dubrow and her husband, Paul, and Brendan Macdonald and his longtime girlfriend, Regina Perez; in addition to many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mrs. Alessandro may be made to St. Theresa of Avila School, 40 St. Theresa Ave., West Roxbury, MA, 02132 or sttheresaschoolboston.com. All donations will be used to support a scholarship in her name (STA Class of 2000).