I nominate Colleen Anderson for the DAISY Award. Her actions exemplify her compassion for not only her patients but for all the patients in the Neuro ICU.
On April 5, 2012 we, as a unit, were caring for a young, Hispanic woman and mother of four. The patient’s children ages range from 10 months to 13 years. While the patient’s husband was busy making life-altering decisions related to his wife’s medical treatment (with the use of a translator) the children were trying to care for their youngest sibling. What complicated matters was a huge language barrier between the father and staff, requiring the children to help the father converse with staff. There was also a lack of available caregivers for the children at the time.
It was apparent to Colleen (who was caring for two other critical patients) that these children needed some “motherly love” and help. She called her son at home and asked him to bring in an old stroller so the older siblings would not have to carry the ten month old child around. The children were able to use the stroller and keep the infant occupied while the rest of the Neuro ICU staff took a collection to get the children something to eat and drink. The stroller allowed the older children a small break to be with their parents and the infant to get some much needed rest.
Even with the communication barrier we could see the children were relieved and appreciative of these small acts of kindness at such a devastating time in their lives.