I was hit by a distracted driver who was traveling at high speed. Due to many traumatic injuries, included an amputated left leg, I owe my life to the medical professionals along the way from the first responders, to the doctors, to the nurses. I wish I could nominate them all, but I chose to nominate Kristin Miller. After I was moved from ICU, she was my primary nurse while I was recovering in the orthopedic unit, and she exemplifies all the characteristics underscored in the DAISY Award description, but especially, skillful and compassionate care.
After spending 10 days in ICU, I was moved to the orthopedic unit, where I spent nearly two weeks recovering from many critical injuries. Kristin made that stay as enjoyable as possible, giving me invaluable things like comfort, hope, and healing. She was incredibly professional and skillful, possessing all the technical skills of a great nurse. This was demonstrated by caring for all my physical needs including pain management, braces, wound care, dietary, position, and much more.
Just as important as the technical skills, Kristin demonstrated the personal healing characteristics, always remembering the patient. I do not remember most of my time in the ER nor ICU, where my survival was in question on a few occasions. So, when I came to the Ortho Unit, I was heavily medicated and very confused. I was in denial that my left leg was gone, and Kristin sensitively and compassionately brought me back to reality, choosing all the right words that made things clearer, while also assuring me that everything would be OK.
Although humor is not a DAISY specified characteristic, I do have to mention that Kristin had just the right amount, and she knew when to turn it on and off. We would often start with some humor, then get busy taking care of whatever was on the agenda for the day. They were busy days, and she had many patients. But thanks to her incredible skill, compassion, and dedication, she took the time to provide everything I needed, without a hint of the stress that must be there, knowing there are other patients also in need.
When I arrived in the Ortho Unit, I was confident that I was going to survive, but I was unsure of the near-term future with many broken bones and internal injuries. I also did not know what the long-term future would look like with most of my left leg missing. However, by the time I left, thanks to Kristin, and all the amazing staff at St. Vincent, I may not have had a crystal-clear picture of the future, but I had hope that everything was going to be OK. That hope and faith is already turning to reality. Just three months later, I am walking on two legs (one artificial), and my other injuries are healed, or trending the right direction.
Submitted with much respect and appreciation to Kristin Miller and the entire St. Vincent staff. I thank you for my physical and emotional life!