Forever in our Hearts: Hudson's NICU Nurses
Hudson was born at 27 weeks and 3 days at University Hospital and transported to Riley. We learned that he had a hole in his intestine while he was in utero, so before delivery we knew he would have to be at Riley for treatment. Because he was born so early, he required multiple types of machines to help him breathe. He also had multiple surgeries to correct the hole in his intestine, an ROP laser procedure for his eyes. He was also treated for kidney issues, and diagnosed with encephalomalacia (softening of the brain substance, due to hemorrhage or inflammation.)
Dr. Jayme Allen was the neonatologist working when Hudson was admitted, and Dr. Juan Acosta was the neonatologist working Hudson’s first night. He worked alongside the surgeon for Hudson’s surgery that was performed in the NICU Module #1. Kristy Conyers was the Nurse Practitioner for the majority of Hudson’s stay. The nursing staff in “Module #1” were absolutely wonderful and all of them mean the world to us for different reasons. Courtney Miles, Dana Realey, Melody Hoffman, Elizabeth Carter and Donna Case are just a few of the very special nurses that we hold near and dear to our hearts for the exceptional care and love they gave our Hudson.
Donna will forever hold a special place in our hearts because she was the first one place Hudson into my hands. Courtney was the nurse working the day that Hudson was first able to do Kangaroo Care with me. Elizabeth was the Purdue fan in the room and always loved to put Hudson’s Purdue hat on while she cared for him. Dana was the IU fan in the room and knew ALL things car seats! For Thanksgiving she helped me do a little photo shoot with our turkey so Hudson could be at our family dinners through pictures!
At Christmas, Courtney, Elizabeth, Kristy and I’m sure a few others helped with Hudson’s Santa photo shoot. Next to the picture was Hudson’s wish list for Santa. Not only were each of the nurses advocates for Hudson, but they also helped guide us as parents every step of the way. They showed how to care for our son in the NICU and prepared us to go home.
Since that time, Hudson’s progress has been amazing! He is still a patient within Riley Pulmonary, but he recently came off all of his pulmonary medications. He no longer sees the kidney doctor or developmental pediatrics. He’s been receiving speech, occupational and physical therapies through First Steps. He crawled at 21 months, walked just days before his second birthday, and is putting together short sentences.
Riley is the reason we still have Hudson with us today! He was cared for by a team that worked together to give him the best care possible. They were very thorough and always available if we ever had any questions regarding his care. As parents, we felt helpless at times, but every step of the way Hudson’s medical team kept us trained on how to care for him.
We never thought we’d look back and think of the “wonderful memories” we have from Hudson’s time in the NICU, but we do.
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