Christina Vasquez, NICU Nurse
Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital
Nominated by Erin and John Dudley
NICU nurses have an incredible talent to be able to guide and support parents while tending to the health, safety and progress of the babies under their care. Being a rock for babies in need, as well as for their loved ones? Well, it’s no wonder that Christina is our personal hero. She was our rock. She cared for our son with remarkable emotional intelligence, genuine compassion and earned confidence. We’ve never seen anything like it. Our son, Marty, came into the world at 30 weeks, weighing 2.5 pounds. We are incredibly blessed that we were able to take him home after 56 days in the NICU. He is now a hilarious, adorable, and thriving 17 month old.
We were impressed by every member of the Prentice NICU staff. That said, Christina represented the very best of an already elite group of caregivers. As a parent, our experience was a constant roller coaster of emotions, but Christina possessed a perfect blend of compassion, expertise, and support. In those first few days, she became more than our son’s primary nurse. She became part of our family. Christina loves being a NICU nurse. It shows, not just in her expertise and professionalism, but in the attitude she carries. Christina has a genuine love for the children under her care and the opportunity to be there for them at every turn. Words don’t express the confidence we felt when Christina was caring for Marty. Perhaps what is most amazing about Christina’s work is the fact that we know that she has shared this same level of commitment with countless families.
While Marty was in the NICU, Christina attended at least two birthday parties for her former NICU graduates. Since nurses have limited weekends off, we were so impressed that she would attend kids’ birthday parties in her free time. She wouldn’t miss them. It was as if attending these events added fuel to what already seemed to be a limitless tank. Christina has seen Marty multiple times since he was discharged, including visiting him when he was admitted to Luries for RSV, the March of Dimes walk, and his 1st birthday party. I know her amazing spirit has helped so many families in her 11 years as a NICU nurse. Christina also possesses a special confidence and ability to communicate in a matter catered to each individual. This allows her to give a voice to the tiniest of patients.
Every morning, Christina would be completely engaged in rounds with the doctors for each of her babies. She made sure the doctors knew every piece of information that could be beneficial, advocated for the babies’ needs, and that the parents understood everything. Christina is an incredible NICU nurse and an all-around amazing person. We are so grateful she was able to care for Marty and guide us during our NICU journey, and is now a dear friend.