>> Friday, July 31, 2009
As you have probably figured out by now, Stephanie and I couldn't be more pleased with the care Kamryn has received while at Parkland and Children's. Tonight, I wanted to blog about the incredible medical staff that saved our daughter's life. I truly believe that they influenced her survival tremendously and our end result may not have been the same had we chosen to deliver elsewhere.
The nursing staff in the Parkland NICU has literally blown us away. We expected that they would do their jobs and fulfill their responsibilities, but we never thought or expected that they would care for Kamryn like she was their own. Yes, the doctor's at Parkland and Children's are among the best anywhere and have so much knowledge and experience. They setup the strategies for Kamryn to pull through, but we truly credit the nursing staff with saving our daughter.
While we encountered nothing but excellence from all of the nursing staff in the NICU, there are four ladies that exceeded every expectation we had and have truly become our heroes. Kamryn has four primary nurses that not only cared for Kamryn, but for our entire family. I would like to introduce two of them to you tonight, and then the other two tomorrow night.
Monica was one of the first nurses we encountered as we started our journey and we both remember saying "Wow" after we saw her work with Kamryn - and with us :). We credit her with allowing us to actually sleep in the very beginning. Monica was quick to pick up on our situation with Hollie being scared and confused and I swear she was on a mission to not only care for Kamryn, but also for Hollie. I have shared many of the notes and pictures that 'Kamryn' sent to Hollie which allowed Hollie to write back and really feel involved in the whole situation. We have an entire scrapbook of those notes that Kamryn will treasure as she gets older. Monica quickly picked up on what put us at ease and she was always right there to make it better. For instance, it drove us crazy to see the saliva build up on Kamryn's lips due to the ventilator and honestly, this wasn't an issue medically. For Stef and I, it was huge because we just felt like it might make her uncomfortable. Monica tackled this with a passion and put up a note to other nurses that said "I like to be suctioned a lot". We never asked for this, but she knew it was important to us and therefore it became critical to her. Every time Monica was with Kamryn, she never 'just completed the job', but took every opportunity to make Kamryn's and our quality of life as good as possible. Monica, I hope you know how much Stef and I appreciate you and your compassion with our entire family. You have been nothing short of amazing. Here is our hero Monica with Kamryn (see her sporting Kamryn's CDH bracelet):
The next amazing nurse to enter our life at just the right time was Traci. Traci and Monica complimented each other so incredibly well. With Traci working days, we were able to spend much more time with her and Traci's mission was to not only learn Kamryn, but she was determined to learn about Stef and I and all our craziness. In a very short amount of time, Traci had us figured out which allowed her to anticipate EVERYTHING that was on our mind. She became our advocate during rounds and spoke on our behalf whether we asked her to or not. She knew what we wanted and was on a mission to get it. One of the greatest milestone's during this journey was to hold Kamryn for the first time. Kamryn was still hooked up to every tube possible and holding her would mean disconnecting the vent, moving the vent, having additional nursing staff there, and the list goes on and understandably, the doctor's weren't real excited about the idea. Traci knew it was important for Kamryn and for us and sure enough, she fought for it and got it. Traci is Stef's comfort in the NICU and the one she is drawn to whenever she had a question. Traci was not only a gifted nurse, but she became our friend and fellow advocate for Kamryn and we credit her, like Monica, for getting Kamryn through the setbacks and to a point where she is ready to come home. Traci, thank you for your friendship and being our partner through this journey. You are absolutely incredible! Here is another of our heroes, Traci:
We had a lot of choices when it came to where we would deliver and have Kamryn's care. We made the choice to deliver at Parkland because of the team approach, expertise in CDH, doctor's who were passionate about winning, and a dedicated resuscitation team. We had a gut feeling that this was the place that would give Kamryn the best chance of survival. We never could have imagined the role the nursing staff would play and that in the end, we would credit the Parkland NICU nursing staff so much with saving our daughter's life. To all the NICU nurses that we were blessed to have work with Kamryn, thank you. You all are amazing!
Tomorrow I will introduce you to two other superstars, Gretchen and Tamara.
Kamryn is still doing well and we are still looking at Monday to take her home! Just a few more days!