Debbie Lovelady

Debbie Lovelady, RN

Neonatal Intensive Care
All Children's Hospital
St. Petersburg, Florida
United States

First of all this is LONG OVERDUE!!! My daughter Marina was a patient ACH NICU for the first 10 months of her life after being born abdominal defect called a Giant Omphalocele. Debbie was Marina’s primary nurse for those 10 months. My husband and I could not have made it through without the NICU staff and especially Debbie. I had to commute back and forth from Tallahassee on the weekends to visit Marina for 3 months and it nearly killed me. The only thing that made it easier was having Debbie and Marina’s other primary stand in as her “Mommies” while I was away. In the 10 months Marina was in the NICU, Debbie NOT ONCE took any time off other than her weekly scheduled days off. Many times still, I would find her at Marina’s bedside on her day off because someone had called out and Debbie jumped at the chance to come in to care for Marina. She took care of Marina almost like she was her own. She fell in love with Marina and Marina fell in love with Debbie. Caring for Marina was not an easy task. Marina had a tracheostomy and was ventilated as well as a feeding tube, but you wouldn’t have known it. She helped Marina come so far and treated her like a “Princess”! Even making her a throne to sit on to get her out of the crib! Staff would come by and visit Marina and she loved it. Debbie would say she was “holding court”!!!! She taught me so much about caring for Marina medically as well as being a mother. She held my hand, hugged me, cried with me and cheered Marina on with me. She became a mother figure to me and we still keep in touch. (Marina will be 4 in May) I can’t say enough about how Debbie has touched the lives of my family …
especially Marina.

We still call her Aunt Debbie and she will forever be part of our lives! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of everything she went through with us. Words cannot describe how we all feel about her. She has been a NICU nurse for 36 years and I hope that ACH knows just how lucky they are to have such an AMAZING member of their incredible team! Words can never express the gratitude I hold for you much less the love in my heart. I couldn’t have made it through all of this without you. Thank you for including us in your magic (your love of nursing) and opening your heart to us and especially my sweet Marina.