I assume most nomination stories come from hospital stays that are far longer than the one my son experienced, but just one day can make such a huge impact on the life of a child. My son, C, is a type 1 diabetic. Diagnosed at age 9, he is now 15 and until this weekend, he had never had a serious complication and certainly not another hospital stay caused by this disease.
Thursday night he played a football game with no symptoms but by Friday morning he had the stomach flu, was vomiting non-stop, and unable to keep anything down. Early that evening the decision was made to take him to the ER at a neighboring facility. He transferred to OSF Children's Hospital at 4 am Saturday morning with DKA. The pediatric intermediate staff was wonderful and comforting from the beginning as my son arrived exhausted, nauseous, and in pain. They jumped into action and made him comfortable and he soon fell asleep.
The real reason for my nomination though is not just about the amazing care my son received. You see, Saturday evening was his first homecoming dance as he is a freshman at a local high school. The thought of missing the dance had my son in tears for most of the morning. It had taken him weeks to gain the courage to ask his date to go. They had planned coordinated outfits and had participated in all the activities leading up to Saturday's dance. Watching him so sick and so upset broke my heart. I had made the care team aware of this situation.
My son and I understood that his health was the team's number one priority, but they didn't rule out a possible evening discharge. C's nurse on Saturday was Tori. She came in during shift change and verified orders, listened to report, and assessed. Once she heard his "story," she was his biggest advocate. I felt like she understood how he felt and how much attending the dance would mean to him. She made sure labs and blood sugars were done promptly. She spoke to him kindly, upbeat, and positive which gave him hope. She kept my husband and me informed of timelines and lab values and answered all our questions.
When he was uncomfortable, she was quick to grab the Zofran, Tylenol, or Tums. These actions don't seem like grand gestures, but when it is your child that is sick, they mean the world. And guess what... He made it to the dance that night! I have never seen a more efficient discharge! He left the hospital at 7:45 Saturday evening healthy (not in DKA) and with a tired smile. Saturday was a horrible day and Tori's compassion made it so much easier for my child. She made it possible for him to experience his first high school dance and to make a memory with his friends. That's huge! I just wanted to send this to say thank you to the staff and especially to her. If I could attach his homecoming picture to this, I would! Thank you.