I remember seeing her in our hospital room after hearing our two-month-old daughter had cancer and would have to be admitted. At the time I was still processing the word "cancer", and felt numb to everything happening around me. However, I remember a sense of safety and kindness filled the room when Nurse Annsley was there.
In the days after our daughter's diagnosis, I started to develop a sense of bravery and strength that I didn't know was possible. A lot of that courage came from seeing the bravery of my infant daughter, but so much hope and strength was also fostered by Annsley. Although my daughter was in the care of several amazing nurses during her hospital stay, Annsley stands out among the crowd. Annsley was able to be with us several nights in a row, and we always looked forward to her shift starting. During this time Annsley made not only my baby feel so loved and cared for, but myself as well. We felt so cared for, in fact, that I could have been certain we were the only family on her caseload. Annsley's level of compassion and empathy allows her to make even the most nervous mothers feel at ease every time she enters the room. Her gentle caring nature and calm presence made me feel like everything was going to be okay, and when so many things felt out of my control, she was able to validate my feelings while still encouraging me to think positively. She helped me see that cancer is just one part of my daughter's life, but doesn't have to define the entirety of our lives.
I'm sure for Annsley, her time with us felt like a normal work shift in many ways. For me, it is a time that is ingrained in my mind forever. Not only did her time with us lead to me feeling confident to take care of my daughter, but it was a time in which I was shown what true selflessness and care look like. Magical things happen within the walls of the UVA Medical Center because of nurses like Annsley. It is with a great sense of gratitude and appreciation that I nominate Annsley for the DAISY Award.