Jessica Harlow
May 2023
PACU / Post-Op
UVA Health
United States




Jessica took him and held him in the most loving way and did her best to soothe him because she said no parent should have to hold their child down in this way
Our 3-month-old son Josh (name has been changed) has been in and out of the hospital for the past week for an abscess on his neck. This has been an incredibly stressful time because we are unsure what has caused this abscess or how it should be treated. A few days ago, we came in for surgery at UVA and happened to have Jessica as our nurse after surgery. She personally greeted us from the waiting lounge and escorted us back to the recovery room, and never stopped providing care to us. Not only did she take care of Josh but she also took care of us as his parents.

We were supposed to be discharged and had a two-hour drive home, but had to see more doctors prior to leaving. When Jessica realized how long our drive was, she made it a priority to get the appropriate doctors in to talk to us so we could get on the road and get back home to our other two kids. In a normal world, we would have seen these doctors and left. Our world is anything from normal though, and this day was nothing different for us. The doctors wanted additional blood and promised us that the IV would give the blood they wanted. Jessica was upfront with us and let us know that she would try her best to get blood out of the IV but sometimes it did not work and she did want us to be prepared if it did not work.

Looking back on the experience I appreciate this more than she probably knows. The IV in fact did not give any blood and the only resort was to stick Josh to get blood. Jessica let us know this would not be a one person job and she would go get some help. She IMMEDIATELY picked up that I was becoming nervous and anxious and asked if I was ok. I said no and she let me know it was okay to be nervous. She asked if I wanted to be in the room and I did not. Jessica went as far as to find another room with a recliner in it for me to sit in away from my son so I would not be able to hear his screams as his blood was drawn. My husband who is a cattle farmer is immune to pain and decided to stay in the room with our son. Despite him staying in the room and offering to hold down our son while he had his blood drawn, Jessica took Josh and held him in the most loving way and did her best to soothe him because she said no parent should have to hold their child down in this way. When I asked my husband how he managed to hold Josh down and he told me he didn't have to I was confused until he told me Jessica did. I wish I knew this before I left the day of surgery so I could have properly thanked her. After the labs were drawn Jessica also tried her best to soothe Josh and promptly discharged us so we could begin our long drive home to his two brothers. I could not think of anyone more deserving of this award than her. I would also like to thank the team that helped her draw our son's labs.

*pediatric patient’s name has been changed