Sarah DeRiggi
April 2019
Neonatal intensive care unit
University of Virginia Health System
United States




Our newborn baby boy, K, was born at UVA Medical Center and was quickly admitted to the NICU for signs of respiratory distress. During K's first 48 hours of life, he was intubated, received multiple surfactant doses, and had a chest tube placed to treat a pneumothorax. Our family was really struggling to grasp the realities of what was going on; it was not something we were expecting with this pregnancy. That's where Sarah came into play.
Sarah was K's nurse for 3 of the most hectic days of K's stay in the NICU. Not only was she professional and very knowledgeable, but she was so personable too. Sarah went above and beyond to ensure that K and our family were receiving the absolute best care possible. She advocated for K in discussions with his whole medical team. She made sure that he was as comfortable as possible. She kept us updated as his condition changed and when he underwent new treatments. She visited K and our family in the NICU even when K wasn't her patient any longer.
It was just overly clear that she truly cared for K and for our family! She was so personable, professional, and caring. Our family will be forever grateful to her for making K's most difficult time in the NICU as comfortable as possible, while also helping us cope with such a difficult experience. We cannot thank her enough!