Abigail Mauck is the best nurse we encountered at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and possibly the best neonatal nurse in the world. I strongly feel that Abigail is deserving of the DAISY Award. My husband and I spent almost three months in the hospital with our son who was born a few months too early. Like many premature babies he had several health issues and through it all we were lucky to work with experienced and kind nurses – the very best of which was Abigail Mauck.
Abigail was a persistent advocate for our son and our family. Throughout our stay, the doctors and nurse practitioners changed weekly, but Abigail was constant. When we had a recurring issue (abdominal distention and lack of stooling) she helped us to advocate for the providers to find a solution for our son by helping us reinforce that this was a recurring issue rather than a one-time thing – this eventually led us to his Hirschsprung’s diagnosis. She regularly ensured all of my questions were answered by my son’s providers and that we had all the information we needed to feel comfortable about his care. This meant she spent time on the phone tracking down surgeons and other specialists so that I could meet with them in person and have all of my questions answered. Getting providers to the bedside while I was at the hospital was a regular struggle and our family was very lucky to have Abigail to help herd the team for us.
For Abigail, taking care of my son was much more than just a job, and I felt that she genuinely cared about my son’s health and happiness. All of the nurses cared for our son, but she seemed to feel a genuine joy in caring for him, that made me feel much more comfortable when I couldn’t be with him. I felt like he was with family when we left him with her – she talked to him and sang to him as we would have. In addition to her caring for our son, she also took care of my husband and me. As new parents, she helped us feel confident with our son – helping us give him his first bath (the first bath we gave him – we did not get a chance to do this in the NICU), becoming pros at changing his clothes, encouraging me with pumping, and taking his temperature. The ICN can be an intimidating place for new parents and she helped us feel confident and welcome to participate in our son’s care.
Her positive attitude was contagious and noticed by everyone in my family, immediately. My sister-in-law called me after visiting him one day and said, “Oh my God, he had the best nurse today! She showed me how to hold him and taught me so much about babies.” I knew immediately that she was talking about Abigail. She always said hello to my parents when they came to visit and would update them on my son’s day. That may seem small, but it meant so much to my family to have someone so friendly and loving taking care of him.
Every morning when we came into the ICN, we didn’t know what the day would bring – but we knew we’d be able to get through it with the help of the excellent team in the ICN and Abigail specifically. We will never be able to thank her enough for everything she has done for our family.