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Wo/Men of Pearls: Megan McCoy, Mother, Occupational Therapist & Minister's Wife

Purpose and service for others have shaped the life of mother, occupational therapist, and minister’s wife, Megan McCoy. Working closely with persons with special needs, the young mom to three boys, finds the most joy in connecting and making a difference in the lives of others. She attributes this sense of ministry to her childhood. “I’ve always known that I wanted to work with people in a healthcare capacity,” shares Megan. “My father is a retired doctor. I initially considered nursing, but faint at the sight of blood. My father suggested occupational therapy, and the rest is history.” 


As a parent of a child with special needs, Megan is able to bring empathy and experience to her work as a therapist. During her free time, she spends quality time with her family and friends, exploring new ways to get creative. “I’ve recently discovered crocheting. I’m also learning to paint and write calligraphy.’ When it comes to style, Megan gravitates towards enduring classics that stand the test of time–a black dress, the perfect pair of tailored pants, and her grandmother’s pearl necklace. 



1.         What keeps you busy these days?


I am a mother of three boys. My eldest, Chris, has returned to Sydney for university. I have fraternal twin boys, Ed and Matt. Ed has special needs, which adds an extra dimension to our lives. Matt is in his final year of school and will return to Sydney for university. I work part-time as an Occupational Therapist at two English speaking primary schools. My husband is a Church Minister in a large church in Hong Kong. Being a minister’s wife keeps me busy, too.



2.         How did you come to find your current career or life’s work?



I’ve always known that I wanted to work with people in a helping, health care capacity. My father is a retired doctor. I initially considered nursing, but faint at the sight of blood, so this was not going to be an appropriate career choice! My father suggested Occupational Therapy and the rest is history, as they say.



3.         What is it about your work or career that you enjoy most? 



I love working with children and their families and teachers, to support them in their development and learning.


4.         What do you consider to be “hazards of the job?”



Post-Covid, the demand for Occupational Therapy early intervention seems to have increased. My student numbers have increased and so, too, has my fatigue. Managing the work / home life balance is an ongoing focus.



5.         For people who aspire for similar careers, what would be your advice?



Listen to your clients and their families and teachers so you can provide individualized treatment plans and intervention. Be flexible and teachable.



6.         What are the career milestones that inspire you to break the glass or mold?   


I have never really aspired to climb the career ladder. In my profession, the higher you go the less contact you have with clients, and it’s working with and helping people that I have always enjoyed the most, not managing people. I think being a parent of a child with special needs and working with children (and their families) with special needs has made me a better therapist. I am able to combine both my personal and professional experiences into my work.



7.         How do you balance work and family life? What are activities that enable you to bond with family?



Try to set boundaries around work so that it doesn’t impact family life. As my work is school-based, I am blessed to have school holidays with my children. My family enjoys holidays, time at the beach, playing board games and watching movies.



8.         How do you unwind or rewind? Any favorite spots in your current city that you consider as your me-time haven?



I like to be creative. I have recently discovered crocheting and enjoy making earrings, purses or beanies for family and friends. I am learning to paint and write calligraphy. I prefer to spend time with my family or friends than on my own. So, I enjoy meeting them where they are.



9.         How would you describe your personal style? What are three your wardrobe essentials? 

I’m not sure I have a personal style. I love ballet and used to dance as a girl (I wish I still did!). So, I’ve always liked the elegant, classic look. Tailored navy or black pants, patterned or floral scarf, classic pair of heels or flats, and wedges for casual wear.

10.      What makes for a good investment piece? Kindly cite examples of pieces in your current wardrobe. 



I bought a sleeve-less, calf-length black dress with slits on either side when I was 18 years old, and I still have it (nearly 30 years later)! It can be dressed up for an evening or dressed down for casual day time. It doesn’t need to be ironed, so it is ideal for travel. A turtle-neck jumper – I have dark grey, cream, and black (and I’ve had these for more than 15 years!). A pair of good fitting jeans.



11.      What do pearls mean to you?

Interestingly, my name means ‘pearl’. It’s a Welsh girl’s name, but I have no Welsh heritage. Pearls also remind me of my grandmother. I borrowed her choker length, double stringed pearls for my wedding with matching earrings. She said I could keep them.

12.      What is everyday luxury for you?