Having a severely handicapped child is stressful alone. Then, when he becomes critically ill with pneumonia and sepsis, requiring ICU admission adds an immeasurable amount of worry and stress to his patents. While the entire St. Mary’s ICU staff has been wonderful to us, there is one RN, Amy, who stands above the rest. She gives impeccable care and displays great critical care knowledge but she has also reached inside our souls to lend an ear, give support and guidance as well as using her extensive knowledge to help us understand the multiple medical issues our Son has. She stays close to his doctor while she makes rounds to keep up on our Son’s daily condition. She also observes respiratory staff so she can stay on track, but most importantly, help us, as parents, understand our Son’s needs. She takes time to put her hand on my shoulder and ask what she can do when I get emotional. She never hurries in and out. She has given us phenomenal support and this helps ease our grief and worry. Despite her needs on a very busy unit, she always takes time to talk, answer our questions, offer support and guidance. She always speaks to our Son, although he is nonverbal and she has a special way of soothing him as well as making him smile. I truly believe she treats all of us as family. She has eased our Son as well as his Mom and Dad through a very stressful ordeal and for this we are grateful and take great pleasure in nominating her for this very special award. When we look into the sky at night, we see many stars but Amy is the star who shines brighter than the rest. Thank you and God bless you all.
Patient nomination (with help from Amy’s coworker):
Another mucous plug and the vent alarm rings. She comes into the room with a quiet calmness; the suction begins and I can breathe again. When the task is completed, she looks at me and asks if things are better now and I smile.
Time for my gastric tube feed. She knows the routine like the back of her hand. Residual is checked, abdominal sounds good, abdomen soft — the feeding pump alarms are set, volume is turned up, rate set — it’s a go! Hope you’re hungry she says directly to me as she is hanging the feeding. And I smile!
Another long hour has passed; my contracted legs and arms are sore from being in the same position. In she comes and with gentleness, she assists my lifetime advocate and caregiver with skin care and repositioning so my body will not ache. Again she looks in my eyes and asks me if I am OK and I smile.
My life advocate, caregiver, friend and Mother are having a bad day. My longtime physician will no longer be caring for me. I will now be sustained at home on the vent (via my trach) round the clock and there is a question regarding the capabilities of my hired home care providers being able to provide their services due to these newly added medical devices. I see tears in my Mother’s eyes and so do you! You quietly walk into the room and are able to discuss all her concerns. I see you handing Mom a card — it brings tears to her eyes. Only these are tears of joy for Mom tells me that you have written that she has done a great job as a Mother and as a health provider and my Mother smiles!
You need to know that I am a young man trapped in a disabled body, completely dependent upon others for my total care. Eye contact and smiles are my only form of communication with the outside world and so with a smile (and assistance of another RN) I am nominating Amy Bultman for the St. Mary’s DAISY Award! Thank you Amy for always making me smile!