Connie Brazeal

Connie Brazeal

Connie Brazeal, RN

NICU
Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska
United States

Our twin daughters spent 86 days in the Nebraska Medical Center NICU. The entire medical team and staff were amazing, but I believe Connie Brazeal truly made my girls better each shift she worked. D was just 1 pound 9 ounces when she was born and spent nearly her entire first month of life on a high-frequency ventilator. Connie knew that D needed human contact and particularly contact with her Mom and Dad. Most of the nurses felt our little girl was too sick to disturb so they quickly did her cares and left her alone. Connie took the complete opposite approach taking her time to rearrange D's linens and lines and sure she was comfortable as possible. She also raised the lid on D's isolette and encouraged by husband and me to spend time giving her kisses and showing we loved her through our touch. Often I would be disappointed when returning in the morning to find that the overnight nurse had given D medication to calm her. Connie never had to do this because she was able to calm her by applying just the right amount of pressure with her hands around Dylan's little body making her feel secure. It was awesome to watch and it taught us so much about the evolving personality of our miracle baby. Now that she is bigger and no longer sick, we still use the power of touch to keep her calm and make her feel secure and loved. As the twins continued to grow and learn to eat, I always felt confident going to bed for a few hours because I knew Connie would not only ensure that the girls ate well, but also that they would get held and snuggled for a time after. D and S each have a note in their baby books that Connie wrote. It says, "Mom, I ate the whole thing at 0300." She knew I was having a particularly frustrating day getting the girls to eat and those notes with the two empty bottles were such a gift! Connie's legacy goes beyond just her own nursing skills as she is passing along her knowledge and talent to her trainees. We were so impressed with several of the newer nurses who, like Connie, took extra time making sure our girls felt not only safe, but also loved. One of them held our daughter S for hours one night and played her lullabies on her phone. That is exactly the kind of thing Connie would teach her to do.