One of the patients admitted to the STICU, who has been in the hospital continuously for almost 2 years, celebrated his second birthday while being hospitalized. J celebrated his 24th birthday in September. J's admission has been a complicated stay, riddled with overwhelming emotional circumstance. Needless to say, J is extremely depressed and would become emotional if his upcoming birthday was mentioned. Tonna Graydon, who has taken care of J on numerous occasion, decided to make J's birthday as special as possible while being in the hospital.
The night before his birthday, while J slept, Tonna carefully and quietly decorated his room with all kinds of birthday decorations. His room was covered with streamers, banners, and balloons; all ready for when he woke up in the morning. When he did wake up, it was to birthday well wishes by the staff, all orchestrated by Tonna. Tonna, however, did not stop at this. J, who has been unable to eat or drink anything for months, really wanted a popsicle for his birthday, and Tonna wouldn't stop until he got his wish. She asked several physicians, finally having to ask the Faculty physician if they would allow J to have 1 popsicle as his birthday wish. After all of her pleading, Faculty obliged and allowed him this one request. Tonna was able to get 1 grape popsicle and crushed it enough so he could take small bites. Tonna fed this to J one small piece at a time, and needless to say, J was extremely happy and overjoyed that he got to have a popsicle for his birthday. Though it was just a popsicle and a few decorations, Tonna's dedication to her patient’s livelihood is outstanding.
Tonna has been recognized many times over the years for her compassion toward her patients and their loved ones. She is the epitome of a nurse that you would want taking care of your family member and is a true representative of University Health System's mission, vision, and values.
Tonna, thank you for always going above and beyond for your patients and their family. You are truly an example to every UHS employee of what it means to be a patient advocate. The Trauma ICU is extremely lucky to have you as a part of our team.