Debbie Lovelady, RN is the April, 2011 DAISY Award recipient. Debbie has been with ACH for almost 37 years. She has spent most of that time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The DAISY Award is presented monthly to an All Children's Hospital Nurse that has provided extraordinary service to our patients.
A parent recently wrote:
Several years ago, my daughter was a patient in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the first 10 months of her life after being born with an abdominal defect. Debbie Lovelady was her primary nurse during her time in the NICU. My husband and I could not have made it through this experience without the NICU staff and especially Debbie. I had to commute back and forth from Tallahassee on the weekends for three months to visit my baby at ACH. The only thing that made it easier was having Debbie and the other nurses stand in as her "Mommies" while I was away. During the time our baby was in the NICU, Debbie was always there. Many times I would find Debbie at her bedside on days that she was not scheduled to be our primary nurse because someone had called out. Debbie jumped at the chance to care for her. She cared for our daughter almost like she was her own. Our daughter and our family fell in love with Debbie.
Caring for our daughter was not an easy task. She had a tracheotomy, a feeding tube and was ventilated. But you wouldn't have known it. Debbie helped her come so far and treated her like a "Princess." She even made her a little throne! When the staff would come by to visit our baby, Debbie would say she was "holding court." She taught me so much about caring for our daughter medically, as well as being a mother. She held my hand, hugged me, cried with me and cheered her on with me. Debbie became a mother figure to me.
Our daughter will be four in May. We still keep in touch with Debbie and refer to her as Aunt Debbie. She will forever be part of our lives. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of everything she went through with us. Words cannot describe how we all feel about her love and support. She has been a NICU Nurse for many years and I hope that ACH knows just how lucky they are to have such an AMAZING member of their incredible team! I can never express the gratitude I hold for Debbie, much less the love in my heart. I couldn't have made it through all of this without her. Thank you for including us in your magic (your love of nursing) and opening your heart to us and especially to my sweet daughter.
"Debbie has been a part of ACH for nearly 37 years. More than 35 of those years have been spent providing high quality care in the NICU," said Cindy Quackenbush, MBA, BSN, RN, ACH Director of Neonatal Services. "Kind, caring, empathic, professional and expert are all terms that describe Debbie as she performs in her role at the bedside each day. She is the nurse that greets parents and visitors with a warm and welcoming smile. Giving 110% is what Debbie does with each interaction and every shift that she works."
"She has a passion for safety and contributes her time to improve work flow and processes for her team members and the patients they care for," says Quackenbush. "Debbie is often the voice of clarity and reason in the room, but also the first one to add humor and provide a chuckle when needed. She is an impressive member of All Children's and the NICU team. She is truly deserving of the honor of the Daisy Award."
Thank you Debbie, for your service excellence to All Children's Hospital and your continued passion to pursue perfection.