Laura Garrison, NICU Nurse
Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
Nominated by Nicholas Cronauer
One of the only things harder than choosing which NICU nurse to nominate for this is being admitted to the NICU. The floor is full of devoted, talented, and wickedly smart people who are collectively responsible for not only saving babies’ lives, but for helping keep parents sane and informed while going through an unknown and terrifying process. All the nurses on the 14th floor are incredibly smart and devoted; Lurie Children’s hospital expects nothing less from its applicants. I am nominating Laura Garrison not for what she could do as a nurse for our son, because everyone on the floor did everything they could for our son, but for why she served as a great point of influence in our lives. Our son spent 147 days in the NICU. Since the beginning, Laura helped him eventually thrive. She would spend many nights rocking and bouncing him to sleep. She cuddled him comforting him through drug withdrawal and gave us detailed updates when we would call in the morning.
She’d help us laugh and created a humorous atmosphere by being affable, charismatic, and self-deprecating. You could tell how passionate she was about her work She always picked up extra shifts when the NICU was overflowing and she would work night and day shifts in the same week. Not only did she care for our son but she took time to get to know us and made us feel cared for as well. Having a child in the NICU is very isolating and traumatic and Laura made sure we never felt alone and that our voices were heard. She listened to our concerns and questions. If she didn’t know the answer to one of our questions she made sure to find out and get back to us. She celebrated Aidan’s successes and was there for us on difficult days. She was as excited about his good milestones as we were. She fought for our baby and was one of his biggest cheerleaders.
She knew Aidan’s potential and helped doctors and other nurses see that. Even though she cared for multiple babies on any given shift, she always made us feel like a priority no matter how hectic the shift was. Even though we are no longer at Lurie’s, she still checks in on Aidan and is still one of his biggest cheerleaders. When we went for a follow up appointment (it was her day off) she still went to the hospital just to see us and Aidan for a little bit. She goes above and beyond the call of duty and we were so blessed to have her as one of Aidan’s nurses. She is an amazing nurse and we know our son is home and doing well because of her dedication to his care and being such a strong advocate for him. It gave us piece of mind at night by knowing that Laura was his night nurse.