Mary Morrison is E's primary nurse and has been with us since E was only a week or so old. E is a complex case with several diagnoses. I am fortunate enough to be able to be at the hospital for several hours each day during the week. Before E was born we knew she would be coming to NCH and thought she would be here 6 weeks. We are now on week 16.
As you can imagine during days with E I have spent a lot of them with Mary as well. I don't know if I can fully articulate what Mary means to us and the impact she has had. From early on I knew that Mary truly cared about and loved E which made it easier for me to go home, to trust that E was well taken care of, allowing me to be with my eldest daughter and also maintain a healthy balance. That healthy balance has been so important especially as the weeks have continued to pass and discharge is still not in sight.
I have become very involved in E's care. I participate in rounds during the week. I advocate for her. I am able to do that because of Mary. She helps answer my questions, helps me to process information and allows me to bounce thoughts off her which helps me to figure out what questions I need to ask. Through all the ups and downs: infections, failed extubations, surgeries and new diagnoses, she has been a strength and an encouragement to me.
E has been through a lot and people who know will tell you that I am handling it well and handling it in a healthy manner - being balanced, crying when I need to, etc. I can say confidently that I am where I am because of Mary. I am able to be E's advocate, be able to confidently participate in rounds, feel bonded with my daughter, feel comfortable picking her up though she is still intubated, and so forth all because I have had Mary alongside us through this journey. I couldn't imagine what this journey would have been like without Mary and I wouldn't want to. She is not just E's primary nurse, she is an advocate with me and has walked this journey alongside us. I am beyond grateful for her.
I think that unless you've had a long-term medical situation that it's hard not to have an understanding of what nurses do or to appreciate what's involved in their job. Mary is a prime example of the impact nurses have, not only on their patients but families as well.