Nicole Durden-Mundy
September 2016
University of Virginia Health System
United States




We had the pleasure of receiving care from Nicole early in our NICU stay. Our son, T, has a congenital heart defect and Nicole was his nurse a few days after he was born. She immediately saw the distress and anxiousness that my wife and I had while we watched our son suffer from the lifesaving medicine they were administering before his surgery. Searching for a glimmer of hope in an often chaotic environment with alarms buzzing, pumps whirring, and people everywhere, she calmed our nerves and brought a sense of hope to hold on to. Even when she was not T's assigned nurse, she would always stop by to say hello, answer questions, and was a wonderful resource to help us figure out the next steps and how T was progressing.
The most meaningful act by Nicole was after T's surgery. We were recovering in 7 Central after stays in the NICU, PICU, and IMU and starting to doubt if we would ever go home...and even if we did, what home life would look like. I reached out to Nicole to ask for her guidance during this time and she stepped away from the NICU to come and visit us for a bit, and more importantly speak with my wife, as she was showing signs of post-partum depression. After speaking with her and giving us her personal cell-phone number, my wife felt refreshed and excited about the future with T.
Her experience and knowledge were instrumental in helping us navigate the onslaught of information and differing points of view we received every day regarding T's condition. Was he looking good, or was he too hot? Was he eating enough, or not gaining weight properly? Was he hitting the right milestones, or was he lagging behind?
These questions and many more circled our heads every day and Nicole was able to clarify the truth and become a trusted source for us during our stay. Her expertise was exactly what we needed and certainly made a significant impact on our son's care and our stay at the hospital.
While the surgeon may have saved T's life, Nicole saved our family. We will forever be indebted to her for her incredible kindness, compassion, wisdom, and strength through the difficult trials we faced. She is now part of our family and we look forward to our next hospital visit because we know we get to see Nicole again!