Daryl Roddan

The Roddan family
The Roddan family treasure their time together when Daryl is able to visit.

Nurses offer a double scoop of hope 

At 3 a.m. Daryl gives up on sleep and goes to stand at his baby’s bed. Henry looks up at his dad through brown, listless eyes and Daryl strokes his head where an IV pierces the paper-thin skin. The machines by the hospital bed show Henry is stable, for now.

After an hour, maybe two, Daryl’s wife Megan rises from her chair. She eases Daryl’s fingers from their grip on the bed rails and takes his hand. 

“If he doesn’t…”

Daryl shakes his head to stop her, but they’re both thinking about the possibility. At five months old, Henry’s already brought so much joy to their family. It would be devastating to lose him.

During the next few weeks of tests and procedures, the nursing staff are an important source of encouragement for Daryl and Megan. They recognize the rollercoaster of emotions these young parents are experiencing. They explain each step of treatment and take the time to listen to every question and fear.

Daring to dream

As Henry’s condition improves, Daryl dares to think more positively about the future. A life-altering realization dawns on him—he has the qualities to be a good nurse. Nursing could be the fulfilling work he’s been searching for, as well as a stable career. On a rare dinner date away from the hospital, he broaches the subject with Megan.

“Going through all this has helped me figure out I want to be a nurse,” he tells her. He knows it will be tough financially. Megan’s rare genetic disability means Daryl is the sole earner for their family of four. “I don’t know how it’s going to work. We’ll just have to scale back on everything.” Despite the upcoming sacrifices, Megan agrees. She knows it’s a path to a better future for all of them. After upgrading a couple of high school courses, Daryl quits his job to commit to four years of full-time school in Victoria.

Scraping by, but no regrets 

As Daryl progresses through the nursing programs at Camosun and UVic, money is suffocatingly tight. Turns out student loans only let you scrape by. Bursaries are what get the family through to the end of each semester, when money, even for staples like groceries, runs thin. His passion for nursing never wanes, but his financial worries multiply. After making every possible cut to their budget, they decide it’s best if Megan, Henry, and their daughter Evelyn, move in with Daryl’s mom in Armstrong, BC, while Daryl stays in Victoria to complete his degree.

In the summer before his final year, the family faces another challenge. Megan needs dental surgery and their car is out of action. After paying for two back-to-back practicums from May to July, Daryl’s spent over half his summer loan. With no chance of securing work during his one month break from school, August looks bleak.

Financial aid grants much more than money

At this crucial time, Daryl gets an email through the nursing program about available scholarships. He applies for three, and is awarded all of them. He phones Megan from Victoria. “I’ll be able to come home for August,” he exclaims. “And we’re getting the car fixed!”

Even during the hardest times, Daryl never regrets his decision to pursue nursing. But scholarships and bursaries make him more certain he’s on the right path. The way he sees it, if donors value this profession so much, if they’re willing to invest in it, they also value him and his choices. That gives him extra inspiration to continue his studies.

August brings a welcome break from studying and time for Daryl to catch up on the time he’s missed with his wife and two children. But it isn’t a total vacation. Henry keeps him on his toes, just like any other healthy five-year old. 

Evelyn, Daryl and Henry