Allison Lukens, NICU Nurse
Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital
Nominated by Elizabeth Nee | Eric Schilling | Claire & Caleb Stein
Alli was an amazing advocate for our son when he was in the NICU. She and the RAs encouraged the doctors to wean him off the vent so he could come home and she helped teach us how to care for him, including how to breastfeed. She also did a lot of decoration of his room, including the below piece documenting milestones. We’re still in touch with her after his discharge over 2 years ago.
by Elizabeth Nee
We could no sooner pick our favorite NICU Nurse than we could pick our favorite child. Angie, Alli, and Alicia were our Preemie Twin boy Primaries. Exactly one year to the day before our twin boys Aiden and Ethan were born prematurely we lost our son Logan at 36 weeks. Logan our Guardian Angel stopped growing and died in utero. I believe God puts people in your path for a reason. Our Nurses provided not only care for our boys but for us as parents. They were sensitive to our history and provided all of us comfort. During our NICU stay our son Ethan became very sick. A sepsis infection nearly killed our son Ethan. Our Nurses pushed for tests and transfusions and caught the fast-moving infection. Ethan’s condition was grim and our came priest baptized him. Somehow he pulled through! Alli’s attention to detail, Angie’s motherly instinct and the reassuring comfort of our overnight nurse Alicia saved his life. We struggled with fertility, we lost a baby and we nearly lost another. We know how lucky we are. We also know how lucky we are to have better care than Alicia, Angie or Alli.
by Eric Schilling
All plans for the well-scripted home birth of our second child, Brock, were quickly thrown out the window when he made his debut 7 weeks early. The entire process was somewhat of a blur; from the scramble to organize someone to stay (on short notice) with an older brother, Jax, to the much-earlier-than-expected delivery at Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital, and subsequent mad dash to arrange family support to travel to Chicago from out of state. Once Brock was born later that day, we were fortunate to quickly meet him before he was swept away by passionate caretakers of Prentice’s NICU team. The juggling of work schedules with +16 hour NICU visits and managing visiting family and friends all culminated to teach us an invaluable life lesson: Not everything in life goes according to plan. And when it doesn’t, one must deal with things as they come and accept help from those who are best able to provide it. We are incredibly grateful that we wound up in a place that had as many caring and capable people at Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital. The entire medical community, doctors and nurses alike, was wonderful but there was one individual in particular who always seemed to shine a little brighter than the rest; Allison “Allie” Lukens.
Allie quickly took to our baby Brock, commenting how handsome he was and instilled a confidence in us that we severely lacked in the world of NICU unknowns. She was incredibly self-aware and met us with help where we most needed it. She was compassionate when we would have setbacks, bubbly when we needed an emotional lift, a fierce advocate when rounds were conducted and we needed our preferences communicated, and reassuring that Brock was in the best of care when we would weigh going home to spend the night with our family versus sleeping by his side. Allie was relatable and personable when we would need a mental break from the stress of being stuck in one place too long, and was always quick to share a story from her exciting travel adventures, a new recipe she was preparing to try, or pictures of a friend’s dog she was caring for while they were out of town. Allie’s passion caring for the littles and their respective families transcends any title one can put on her career role. We believe she embodies everything the Jackson Chance Foundation stands to highlight, and cannot recommend her too highly for the Owl Give Award. We consider ourselves fortunate to have crossed paths with Allie after things didn’t go according to our original plan, but could not imagine weathering the experience without her by our side.
by Caleb & Claire Stein