Sara Van Pelt
May 2021
Sara
Van Pelt
,
BSN, RNC-NIC
Scottish Rite NICU
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

 

 

 

Sara was there for us when we needed a calming and empathetic presence to shepherd us through the initial stages of loss and heartbreak, and as that loss transformed into grieving and bereavement.
Sara went above and beyond to care for our daughter, E, during her time in the Scottish Rite NICU. E was born at 26 weeks due to pregnancy complications and required the highest level of care. Sara’s focus on E's health, clinical experience, and attention to detail was immediately noticeable, which gave us great confidence that E was in safe and competent hands. She also emotionally supported my husband and me, as we were both overwhelmed and frightened, and patiently answered our questions and concerns as we processed what was occurring. Despite the night that E passed away being a blur of frenetic activity and devastation, through it all was Sara’s constant and comforting presence. With compassion and sensitivity, she helped us enter into the journey of grieving. After E passed, Sara stayed well past her shift to transition her energy and attention to my husband and me. She ensured that we ate and drank something, helped us change and bathe E, and even escorted us out to our car. Sara’s support did not stop the night we lost E. A week afterward, she attended E's funeral. I wish I could adequately explain the depth of meaning and significance of having E's caretaker be physically present while we honored E's life. She also mailed us a card in which she continued to express words of sympathy and support for our loss. She gave us the gift of words that every grieving parent wants to hear, that our daughter will be remembered. Sara was there for us when we needed a calming and empathetic presence to shepherd us through the initial stages of loss and heartbreak, and as that loss transformed into grieving and bereavement. If it were not for Sara and our ongoing connection with her over the past year, my healing process would have been negatively impacted. In other words, not only was she a nurse to E, but she also provided care for both my husband and me. Sara’s commitment to nursing and healing has inspired me to extend my compassion, empathy, and love towards others in need. Through Sara’s words and actions, our daughter's life and love are able to live on.