In 1999, at the age of 33, Patrick Barnes was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia). His family was fortunate to spend the eight weeks of Patrick’s hospitalization with him. During those weeks, they experienced the best of nursing. While they expected great clinical care, they did not expect the incredible kindness and compassion shown to Patrick and them every day, even when Pat was completely sedated. It eased their minds, and the nurses' sensitivity to the situation made a great difference in the hospital experience. The nurses helped the family through the darkest hours of their lives with soft voices of comfort and strong, loving hugs.
After Pat died, the Barnes family knew they wanted to honor him, to somehow turn their grief into something that would help fill the giant hole in their hearts that Patrick’s passing had left. The family kept coming back to conversations about his nurses, and that’s when they decided to say “Thank You” for the gifts nurses give their patients and families every day, just as they had experienced.
Pat’s wife, Tena, developed the acronym DAISY, which stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Paperwork was filed to become a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses began at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at the University of Washington Medical Center, where Patrick had been a patient. It was the first program of its kind to give patients, families, and co-workers a way to express their gratitude to nurses for what they became nurses to do - provide compassionate care to patients and their families. Since then, The DAISY Award has become a strategic tool for nurse recruitment, retention, and resilience that has been adopted by thousands of healthcare organizations and schools of nursing in the U.S. and around the world.
His legacy is clear: whenever he came across anyone
in need, he never turned his back.
Everyone who met Patrick even once was touched by his positive spirit and his sense of humor. Twice a survivor of Hodgkin’s Disease, Pat was driven by a desire to befriend others and help them in any way he could. His legacy is clear: whenever he came across anyone in need, he never turned his back. He reached out to comfort, to make them feel okay. Pat was a natural mentor, sharing his phenomenally positive outlook on life with a wide network of friends and family around the country with whom he stayed in constant contact. The DAISY Foundation was established to keep his very special spirit alive.
The DAISY Mission Statement
The DAISY Foundation expresses gratitude to Nurses with programs that recognize them for the extraordinary compassionate, skillful care they provide patients and families. By honoring compassionate nurses, DAISY reinforces the importance of compassion in healthcare.
The DAISY Vision
Every organization where nurses practice in the world will want to embed DAISY recognition programs in their cultures since DAISY Awards inspire nurses to provide extraordinary care not only with their brains but also with their hearts.