Compassion Times Two
October 2020 Issue
by Mary Hope Roseneau
Photography by Christian Lee
“I never wear this much makeup on a Saturday!” exclaimed one of the two lovely ladies I met outside the coffee shop in Waterfront Park in Beaufort. They both have big brown eyes, medium length brown hair and were wearing summery dresses with high clog heels.
Miranda Moss, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, and Ashley Konoza, Doctor of Physical Therapy, look absolutely identical. But they aren’t, they laugh. Everyone thinks that, they assured me, but they are fraternal twins. And yes, they had fun with that in school!
The sisters grew up in Beaufort, graduated from Beaufort High, and loved their hometown so much that they are back to stay. They both participated in sports and cheerleading in high school, and attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia—roommates of course. Both girls always loved math and science in school, and were interested in some career in the medical field. Through membership in a sorority in college, and other connections, each made the decision to go to graduate school. Miranda continued at USC School of Nursing, and Ashley enrolled at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
Ashley studied physical therapy and laughed that she had never broken any part of her body, while Miranda had several mishaps, particularly in competitive cheerleading. Through these injuries, Ashley observed her sister going to PT and was impressed with the therapist’s role in the healing process. She was most drawn to this career as a way to connect with people for an hour at a time, several times a week, usually, and see progress as a result of it. She has worked at Carolina Sportscare for several years now, traveling between the Beaufort and Dataw clinics.
Miranda considered becoming a doctor, but changed direction into the nursing field, ultimately working as a registered nurse for five years, prior to advancing her degree. She is now a nurse practitioner and able to diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of a doctor. This field is taking off as the way for medical treatment delivery. She works at Beaufort Memorial Hospital Express Care and Occupational Health centers in Beaufort and Bluffton, seeing everyone from infants to the elderly for every condition under the sun.
But in March both of their jobs were profoundly affected by the COVID pandemic.
Miranda’s office at Beaufort Memorial Hospital quickly transformed into a COVID testing site, and she spent many long, hot hours dressed in full protective personal equipment (PPE), administering tests and re-assuring people who looked at her with panic and fear.
Ashley was home on maternity leave with daughter Harper, but returned at the end of April to a new world in medicine. She learned to evaluate patients as they entered the clinic wearing masks and how to treat them with the new precautions.
Ashley was extremely concerned with protecting her newborn. Aunt Miranda followed strict protocol at work, though she ached to hold and kiss her baby niece. She kept away as a precaution for several weeks, but thankfully things have eased up some.
The husbands deserve a lot of kudos, the girls say. Ashley’s husband, Seth, is a teacher and coach at Beaufort High, and for the spring semester, he was the baby’s primary caregiver when she went back to work. Virtual online classes allowed him time at home. “He did great! I never worried a minute about Harper,” Ashley said, “It was a blessing for both of them to spend that time together.”
Miranda’s husband, Doug Moss, is Director of Sales at Barrier South, and a real trooper as a husband, as well. He was a comfort to Miranda’s difficult first days of being outside testing and supports her in all she does. The couple is active in the Baptist Church of Beaufort, and Doug was recently ordained as a deacon.
Both sisters enjoy small town living, as they get to see their patients all over town. They cherish the relationships formed through their clinical positions and are happy to see their patients improving enough to be out and about. What’s funny though is they are mistaken for each other a lot. A person will come up and start talking like they know them, and each twin realizes the person must have seen her sister at the hospital, clinic, or therapy session. They graciously identify themselves, and pass the news onto their sibling.
When asked about future plans, both ladies took a deep breath. “That’s always a hard question,” Miranda said, but shared her desire to start a family so that Harper will have a cousin to play with. She is also interested in teaching nursing at some level and making a difference in other’s lives.
Ashley is also interested in the possibility of teaching in the future, as well as continuing to serve with her husband in Cross Community Church. She is looking forward to her journey as a mom and all the family oriented activities that await.
Ashley and Miranda emphasized how much they love what they do—being that calm, helping caregiver when their patients are injured, hurting, ill, depressed, or anxious. They stressed how important it is to listen to their patients, to what is said, and also, maybe not said. Especially now.
Ashley (baby advice): “Just take it day-by-day. Don’t be afraid to ask for and receive help. It really does take a village.”
Miranda (regarding the virus): “We are all in this together and will persevere. Remember to be kind and gracious to one another.”