My 7-year-old granddaughter L was diagnosed at Children's Hospital with thrombocytopenia/Sjogren's syndrome/lupus about 2 months ago. Since that time, the doctors have tried medicines to prevent flare-ups. However, she did have an episode and my daughter brought L to the hospital because of a dangerously low platelet count and painful swelling in her knees and elbows. She was admitted to 6, Dearth floor. Dawn Fillmore was her day-shift nurse.
On Wednesday, the doctors decided to try a different medication called rituximab. They explained that the drug could cause some very serious side effects that could be deadly. As you can imagine, we were afraid for L. The doctors told us that rituximab is given through infusion. L's mom, my daughter, is a registered nurse so she understood. But, I had questions and Dawn explained that the medicine would be slowly given through the IV over several hours.
Now, this is the real reason for this letter. I loved Dawn's professionalism and honesty. My daughter asked Dawn if she had done a rituximab infusion before and she said no, but she had done an IVIg infusion. Then she told us that every precaution had been done. She showed us the epinephrine syringe in case L had a reaction. She stated that everyone on the floor knew that she was doing a rituximab infusion, so if she pushed the button, nurses and any doctor on the floor would come running. Plus, she made sure I understood that the medication would be given slowly with gradual rate increases, and she would stay right beside L for at least an hour to monitor her vital signs. I felt so much better because she was honest, and she did not simply say that everything will be fine. Throughout the infusion, she told us L's blood pressure, temperature, and each time she increased the rate of infusion. Best of all, Dawn held L's hand when she became restless, sad, and started crying. My daughter and I talked continuously because we were nervous and to distract L, but I noticed that Dawn kept her eyes on the monitors and L. She had said she would stay beside L for an hour, but she stayed for about two hours. After that, she kept constant checks on L. We never had to look for her. After the six-hour infusion, my granddaughter said, "Dawn is the nicest nurse ever." She wrote the same message on the dry erase board in her room and drew a picture of herself and Dawn holding bands.
Dawn Fillmore's honesty, ability to calmly explain everything to me and the amount of concern she showed L while she gave an infusion of a powerful medication (which she had never given before) were outstanding. She remained steady and focused with a hovering. nervous grandmother and mother watching her every move. Dawn is a true DAISY Nurse.