My family was visiting from Connecticut. My son has sickle cell disease. Unfortunately, he had a crisis and was admitted to Grady Health System. He had wonderful nurses while staying on the 10th floor. However, Nurse Kalisha Alexander advocated for Brandon like no other nurse ever did, including the many special nurses he had in Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
My son required a blood transfusion, but apparently the IV he had from the sickle cell clinic was too small for a transfusion. Nurse Kalisha met with us and took the time to explain why he needed to have a new IV. She instantly recognized that this process posed some challenges because of his veins. She assured him that she was going to try and place the IV, but if she was unsuccessful she would not repeatedly stick him. We heard this claim many times from lots of nurses that have treated him in the past. This list included a few at Connecticut Children's Medical Center; a very special place to our family. Nurse Kalisha was not successful in placing the IV, but her next action started a level of trust in her that few of Brandon's numerous service providers ever attained. She simply kept her word, and did not stick him again.
This all seems like nothing extraordinary, but to us our fears where drastically alleviated. A few other medical providers unsuccessfully tried to place the IV. Some of them wanted to continue poking and/or making additional attempts to place the IV. Nurse Kalisha recognized my son's tension about the process, and continued to advocate for her patient like I have never seen before. I was about to speak up for him when the next nurse unsuccessfully tried and wanted to make another attempt, but I never got the opportunity. Nurse Kalisha spoke up and said, "No" for us. My level of confidence and trust in any of his medical providers was never greater than the trust Nurse Kalisha earned in that instance. Luckily someone from the PIC team was on the floor and came to offer assistance. Nurse Kalisha was not afraid to stand alone for what she believed she perceived to be in the "best interest of her patient." Thank you, Nurse Kalisha for taking care of my son as if he were your own son.
I spent every moment at his bedside, except for 45 minutes daily to go to my hotel room to shower and change. One day Nurse Kalisha's actions gave me the confidence to leave, not just to shower and change, but also to get some long overdue sleep; I was gone about four hours knowing that he was in good care.
Kalisha Alexander consistently demonstrated excellence through her clinical expertise and extraordinary compassionate care, and she is recognized as an outstanding role model. She deserves the DAISY Award.