You never expect to have to watch your daughter go through a near-death experience or a 3-month hospital stay before her first year of age. You also never expect to look back and consider that experience amazing. Hindsight has allowed us to appreciate God's purpose in her sickness, realize how thankful we should be for what we have, and see the effect people can have on your situation.
Abby Carter is the nurse who stands out most. As a nurse practitioner, I arrived in the NICU full of questions about my daughter's care. With the help of pure adrenaline, I spent two days asking everyone who came in the room what they knew about my daughter's sickness. Abby first took care of L her second day in the NICU. She realized that my struggle to obtain every blood gas result and lab value was a compensatory mechanism and a cry for help. She said, “I need you to not be a nurse practitioner, I need you to be a daddy, I need you to trust us." From that point forward, I was able to see healthcare from a new perspective. I was able to let go of the medical side of things and just be there for my little girl.
What makes Abby so special is her ability to validate the family's concerns. Every time we requested something of her, she came immediately and spent as much time as we needed. She answered countless questions and always gave helpful suggestions. We were always so excited when she was assigned to L because we knew she would fight hard for her to improve every day. Even when we got exhausted from being in the hospital and the day-to-day grind of recovery, she always had the energy and encouragement to help us keep going.
Abby became a friend, a sister, an aunt to our L, and will forever be a highlight of a very dark time for our family. We are so blessed by the care we received at Children's Hospital and by the devotion to babies displayed by Abby.
Thank you, Abby, for all you have done! You let me be a daddy, inspired me to be a better nurse, and took such great care of my daughter and my family!