Stefanie Ness
February 2020
Pediatric Oncology Inpatient
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
United States




Our 3-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, as well as a MRSA infection. We spent 2 days seeking a diagnosis and was told it was hand, foot and mouth disease.
Z was our only child, 7th pregnancy, 14 years of infertility treatments. To hear the news no parent wants to hear was a kick in the gut. We took everything in, or so we tried. There was a lot of information, courses of action, medicines, treatment, etc. coming at us all at once. Stefanie would check in on us, ask how Z was, but also how we were and if there was anything we didn't understand.
One evening, after we met with the doctors, she did the check-in. There was something we just couldn't quite get. She whipped out the dry erase marker, opened the bathroom door, and drew out what it was we were trying our best to understand. The light bulbs went on - we finally understood.
She was our overnight nurse and the "head" nurse of Z's team. She would leave encouraging notes, not only for Z but us as well.
We don't have enough good, kind words to describe Stefanie. She is kind, caring, thoughtful, observant, respectful, uplifting, and the words could go on. Z had a great team of nurses, but Stefanie touched our lives at the moment we needed it most and helped us more than she knows. She recently even stayed a bit after her shift so she could come to visit Z in the clinic. Stefanie is going to do great things!