Elizabeth Devine, Former NICU Nurse
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Nominated by Katy Long
We had a lot of wonderful nurses during our son Jacob’s 127 day NICU stay but one nurse that really stands out is Elizabeth Devine. Jacob has a heart defect called Tetrology of Fallot and also a Tracheoesphogeal Fistula; both defects that require surgery to repair. If there was a checklist of things that could go wrong in the NICU, I think Jacob hit most of them. On Elizabeth’s first night as Jacob’s nurse, we got a phone call that no parent wants to receive. Jacob had coded during the night and CPR was required to revive him. We rushed to the hospital and spent the entire night scared at his bedside while they ran test after test to determine the extent of the problem. Another constant at his bedside that night was Elizabeth. Her calm presence not only saved Jacob’s life but made the hours that followed bearable for us. After that night, she became Jacob’s primary nurse and we looked forward to the nights she would work. Knowing she was there to comfort our son while we were gone made it easier to say goodbye to him at the end of the night. I have no doubt that she cared deeply for our son. On the night before his open heart surgery, I think she lost as much sleep as we did. She still checks on Jacob to this day. Life in the NICU is something no parent should have to endure, but nurses like Elizabeth make the journey a whole lot easier!