Kelly Piccone, NICU Nurse
Nominated by Kriston Brooks
My son Bryce Brooks was born on July 8, 2015 at Pennsylvania hospital. He was 27 weeks and 3 days, and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces. My life did a complete 360, I never thought I would spend 134 days in the ICN. Bryce was critical, it seemed like every day was bad news after bad news. His lungs were extremely premature, he suffered a grade 4 brain bleed, needed several blood transfusions, brain surgery, and then wasn’t a good eater. Life was hectic and I never knew what to expect day to day. It was about a week in when I met his primary night nurse Kelly Piccone. Kelly was and still is awesome. I was scared, leaving my baby with a complete stranger, watching a stranger get to hold and love him while times I had to sit and watch. I am thankful for Kelly and the bond we made, the cries she shared with me, as well as the laughs. We would be there all hours of the night and she would always tell us go home, you need rest.
We listened and would go home but a few short hours later we were already calling to check in. Kelly never judged us and always assured us that Bryce was in the best care. Kelly would spend most of her night sitting by Bryce talking to him, holding him and just loving him. She loved Bryce like he was her own. I loved that she would take pictures to share with me the next day. I remember the day like it was yesterday when Bryce was off oxygen and breathing room air. I walked into the ICN about 8:00 pm, and as soon as the doors opened there was my baby boy and Kelly meeting the receptionist at the first desk. Kelly was so excited to get to show him off, that she gave him a tour of the whole ICN.
Kelly was patient; at times I wasn’t always the easiest person to talk to. She was always there for me to talk to, answer all my questions, and more importantly was always there to assure me things were going to be ok. She always treated me like a friend not a stranger. We would sit for hours talking about life, family, and sharing stories. Kelly was also a teacher. From teaching me how to change a diaper, to bathing him, learning how to place a feeding tube, but most importantly never look at the monitors, always look at the baby! I can never thank Kelly enough for coming into our lives. We still keep in touch today. The day we left the ICN was the happiest day of my life, yet the saddest day too. My baby is a miracle, meeting Kelly and getting to share this experience with her is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to tell Bryce all about her when he is older.