Shannon Morphis, a wife and mother to a 15-year-old football enthusiast, has spent two decades as a critical care community paramedic. Her commitment to her patients and her family defined her identity.
In February 2021, Shannon embraced a new chapter in her professional journey, joining Ascension Saint Thomas, a move that would prove instrumental in the future. In May of the same year, Shannon received a diagnosis of stage I breast cancer. Thankfully, her vigilant approach to health, with regular mammograms due to a family history of breast cancer, allowed for early detection.“I have never had any health problems,” said Shannon. “Although I have a family history of breast cancer, I never thought it would be me.”
Shannon underwent a bilateral mastectomy by Dr. Laura Lawson, breast surgeon at Ascension Saint Thomas, in July of 2021. Following this, she completed four months of chemotherapy and infusions in August 2021. “Losing my long red hair was one of the hardest things,” said Shannon. “It was part of my identity. Her battle culminated in August 2022 when Shannon was declared cancer-free. The side effects of the chemotherapy made her step back from her role in the ambulance due to a compromised immune system, but she found new ways to contribute. She continued to do outreach and teach for Ascension Saint Thomas.
In July 2023, Shannon's remarkable journey took an exciting turn when she was appointed to the state EMS board, an honor given by Governor Bill Lee. “This was a huge honor to me,” said Shannon.
”I am better off for having gone through this diagnosis,” said Shannon. “I have always worried about the little things and always took on more than I could handle. I realized what is really important in life: my faith, family, and friends.” Shannon is now back on the ambulance, taking on patient care. She celebrated one-year cancer free this past August.