The Women of Angels of Mercy

Lydia Fiore, MD, ER attending physician:

Lydia is new to Pittsburgh, but after growing up on the mean streets of LA, she figures she can handle anything her new city has to throw at her.

Lydia spent the first 12 years of her life homeless, with her con-artist fake psychic mother, Maria. She doesn’t even know her father’s name—her mother was terrified anytime Lydia asked about him or threatened to try to find him or Maria’s family. On the lam, Maria spinning new identities for them faster than a popsicle melts in the LA heat, Lydia grew up in a world of lies and deceit but always knowing the one thing she could depend upon was her mother’s love.

This was proven on the day Maria was killed. Lydia witnessed Maria’s murder, hiding out of sight as an uniformed man bludgeoned her mother to death. This tragedy led Lydia into the chaotic world of the LA County foster care system where she was shuttled from one stranger’s house to another until she turned 18.

She put herself through school by working as a paramedic and then went on to complete medical school and an Emergency Medicine residency. Now she’s arrived at Pittsburgh’s Angels of Mercy Medical Center to work as medical director of EMS and disaster services.

Little did she realize that in leaving LA and her tumultuous past, Lydia would be able to finally find a home and family.

Dr. Gina Freeman, third year Emergency Medicine resident:

Unlike Lydia, Gina is not only a Pittsburgh native but also grew up wealthy. Her father, Moses Freeman, is a noted attorney specializing in malpractice cases, targeting physicians. Gina grew up in his spotlight, never able to live up to his expectations no matter how smart or beautiful she was.

Unable to gain her father’s attention through her accomplishments, she became a rebel. Instead of law, she defied her father’s wishes and went into medicine. Instead of a lucrative private practice, she chose to pursue a career in emergency medicine, working at an urban, inner-city trauma center.

And instead of finding a nice black man from their own upper-class community, she falls in love with a working class, white, Irish cop.

But Gina has a lot of growing up to do before she can find happiness with any man….

Nora Halloran, RN, BSN, SANE:

Nora comes from a working class family from Altoona, PA. After graduating from high-school, she began work at Angels as a nursing assistant, enrolling in a program where the medical center paid her tuitition to attend college and get her BSN.

Her years of juggling work and school paid off as she was quickly promoted to a full time nurse first in the ICUs and later in the Emergency Department. She just became an ED charge nurse a few short months ago, at 25 the youngest in Angels’ history. But she’s bound and determined to follow the rules and not let her youth put her at a disadvantage.

After surviving a sexual assault that only Seth, her former boyfriend knows about, Nora became a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in order to help others cope with the trauma she knows first-hand. Although she’ll deny it, she still suffers post-traumatic symptoms from that attack two years ago–symptoms only made worse by the fact that her attacker has never been caught.

Amanda Mason, fourth year medical student:

In order to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor, Amanda has left her home and family a thousand miles behind in a small ocean-side town south of Beaufort, SC. She may seem young and naïve, but she knows her mind and isn’t afraid of working hard to make her dreams come true.

Always strapped for money, she rents a room in Gina’s house and supplements her income with a variety of part-time jobs including data entry, lecture transcription, and being a paid guinea pig for clinical studies. When she’s homesick, she takes her kayak out on Pittsburgh’s rivers—it isn’t the same as the ocean, but the fresh air is still invigorating.

Between her studies, clinical duties, and jobs, she has little time to party—but Gina makes certain Amanda doesn’t spend every Saturday night home alone with her books.