Kayla Leonard

Kayla Leonard, BSN

Post Partum/Newborn
UnityPoint Health - Meriter
Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Kayla worked with everyone to ensure that my recovery, health, and safety were put first, not hesitating.

I delivered my 2nd baby at Meriter hospital just this past Monday. The care I received during and after was exceptional, similar to my first delivery. However, during my recovery the days after my cesarean I ran into a few obstacles.

Kayla Leonard was our nurse for 2 or 3 days during our stay. When we were being discharged, we saw this brochure for "Thank a Nurse" and I felt compelled to share my situation and utmost gratitude for Kayla in my moments of weakness in caring for me and making sure my whole family was comfortable, safe, and healthy.

The attributes of a DAISY Award Honoree are compassionate care, communication, positive attitude, patient advocacy, and teamwork. Kayla demonstrated each of these at a highly exceptional standard, beyond any previously great standards set. During my recovery, I had a few setbacks with pain management, loss of control (fainting situations), and vertigo. At moments when I wanted so hard to be healing to help my newborn and my partner out with the baby and was defeated by pain and hiccups in my recovery from my tubal sterilization and cesarean delivery, Kayla showed compassion for me. She showed compassion for me and encouraged my recovery, telling me that I was showing strength at moments I felt so weak and defeated.

Kayla gave me strength, not only in her care physically but also emotionally and mentally in those moments of weakness. Her communication was off the charts. She, as did all the nurses, communicate at changing of shifts my story and the story of my family. But her communication went above and beyond. She communicated on my behalf to staff and family members my needs. Her communication aligns with her patient advocacy. She advocated for me in moments I could not accept my own struggles with recovering and made sure I got the precise and exact care I needed to heal efficiently so I could enjoy those precious first moments with my newborn.

Kayla’s communication also helped with teamwork. She reached out to attending physicians on my behalf to help with pain management. She asked questions to the OB pharmacy to ensure the pain medicines and anti-nausea medicine she was hoping to give me as I struggled with vertigo wouldn't affect my milk supply and unintentionally harm my family's future health. She worked with everyone to ensure that my recovery, health, and safety were put first, not hesitating.

As a teacher, I am impressed by that humility and understanding that it truly does take a team to achieve the highest standards of care. Kayla came in each day and left each day with a smile and such joy. She came in radiating love. My newborn responded to her in such a magical way. I remember looking over at my husband when Kayla was working with him and whispered to him "magic" because we could not console him, but she made him comfortable and feel safe. She encouraged us with different strategies and techniques, empowering and teaching us to be able to have the same "magic" with him.

Since being home, we have used Kayla’s knowledge she has shared with us and have had a very smooth transition home. Kayla showed such exceptional care for me and my family. She shows all the qualities of a DAISY Award winner and then some.