Sally Collins, NICU Nurse
Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital
Nominated by Carmen, Ross, and Jack Smith
There are no words that can express the amount of gratitude we have for all the NICU nurses who supported us in our 28 day stay but I’m honored to be able to stay a few words our son Jack’s primary nurse, Sally Collins, who made more of an impact on our lives than she will ever know. We had battled preterm labor since 30 weeks, delivering at 33 weeks, and were on a roller coaster of emotions preparing for what that might mean when our son was born. When our son was born, Sally was one of the first people we met, and in our haze and confusion about what all the IV’s and tubes were on our tiny baby, Sally was there not only to take care of our son, but to explain what everything was and what everything meant over and over as we continued to ask questions.
She taught us how to care for our son, change his diaper without getting tangled in the cords, check his vitals, and read the monitors, all of which is so intimidating with a fragile and sick child. She is patient, kind and loving. Sally was taking care of all of us, among her other patients. She supported us as we learned to hold our little baby for the first time, gave us the courage and knowledge to love and care for our son in the way he needed in order to become stronger. She laughed with us, and “Jack in the box” and she comforted us when we had to leave the room so our son could get a spinal tap at two weeks old.
She kept us strong in the 48 hours we held our breath for test results. Sally was an angel to us. I would arrive early in the morning to find her cuddling our son, she loved him, because that is who she is. She loved him for me when I couldn’t be there and she still loves him today. Sally and her family remain part of ours and her high school daughter is now our son’s babysitter! It turns out we lived down the street from one another. Thank you, Sally, and all the nurses at the NICU. We are forever grateful.