Ashley Agronin
December 2017
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The MetroHealth System
United States




Baby R was born in November of 2016. That's right, one year ago. These nurses took care of him for one full year. They exemplified determination, patience, expertise, and love throughout this baby's struggle to make it out of the NICU. They were each determined to see him achieve well-being. Despite constant adversity, these nurses worked tirelessly to meet R's medical needs. For quite some time, he was one of the most complex babies I have ever seen. Each day his nursing team would innovate and create so that he could be strong and sweet; so that he could be a baby. These nurses had patience unlike I have ever witnessed. Patience with several different medical and surgical teams, patience with nurses, patience with his family and most of all patience with R for as lovable as he became, there were days that each of their willpower was tested, heavily, and yet it endured. R's nursing team became experts in many things that the NICU doesn't see very often; they became experts in him. Their willingness to learn, try harder, reconsider and adjust made every difference in this little boy's outcome. Most admirably, these nurses loved. R would go rarely a day without hearing the sweet voices he knew. His bed space was decorated, clothes were bought, washed and folded constantly and his family was persistently supported and encouraged. Though R only knew a small area, it was filled with love and happiness and the nurses who filled that space gave R the chance to know what many thought impossible, the world outside the NICU.