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Celebrating even more nurses

8 East Cardiology Team

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I simply cannot choose just one nurse. My daughter, Ava, has been a patient on the cardiac floor since she was a baby in 2007. Ava averages about 5 to 10 stays each year. We have had a lot of scary times, but Ava truly looks forward to staying in the hospital. The nurses have known Ava for 10 years, and she is given full VIP treatment. They show humor, patience, kindness, concern, playfulness, and love. Ava has spent more than 400 nights in the hospital and we are so lucky to have wonderful experiences with each nurse. Not only do they give Ava all the attention she needs, they also listen, laugh, and spend time with me. Thank you to the entire nursing staff. Nominated by Mitzi McIver-LaBarge

Avery Forget

The first four months of my daughter’s life were difficult: Tess was born with esophageal atresia, a serious condition that required immediate surgery. She also experienced other complications that resulted in additional surgery and a prolonged hospital stay. She spent about three months in the neonatal ICU and another month on a regular floor. Tess received wonderful care from many doctors, nurses, and other staff. One nurse, Avery Forget, was truly special. She was part of Tess’s primary team for much of her NICU stay. Leaving your baby for the night is never easy. Even after three months, it was still hard, but when Avery was taking care of Tess overnight, we could be confident that she was being tended by someone who had top-notch nursing skills and genuinely cared for our daughter. Many nights, this made all the difference for us being able to get a few extra hours of sleep (and with another infant at home, Tess’s twin, Emmy, this was invaluable). Avery would also check in with us regularly by phone, even just to tell us that Tess had had a good night. Avery recognized that not only was she caring for Tess, but in a way, she was also caring for Tess’s family. She made sure we understood the complexities of Tess’s treatment, and she welcomed our constant questions. Many times, we were scared of what could happen to Tess and uncertain about her future. As I write this, I’m holding Tess, who is about to turn 9 months old. She’s alive and thriving today because of the care she received at Children’s, and especially because of nurses like Avery.Nominated by Colleen Coyne

Kathleen Cappucci

I had a hip arthroscopy in October 2016 and was so lucky to have Kathleen Cappucci as my nurse for my inpatient time at the Waltham location of Boston Children’s Hospital. She had a great sense of humor and knew how to make me smile despite the pain. I have no doubt this is how she interacts with other patients. She made me feel very comfortable under her care and put emphasis on connecting with me on a personal level. My surgery was the day before my 18th birthday and, even though I was at a children’s hospital, she treated me like an adult, which was nice to see and made me more comfortable. She made my stay in the hospital much easier. Nominated by Lauren Schoeller

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Eric-Paul Olsson

Eric-Paul “EP” Olsson is a staff nurse in the Medicine Intensive Care Unit. He is a smart, funny, and compassionate nurse who spends much of his time at the bedside getting to know patients and their families. He does advocacy for at-risk youth and is always good for witty banter during much-needed breaks in the day. My first night in the ICU as an attending physician started off routinely, but in the middle of the night, a very sick toddler was admitted who needed a breathing tube, central venous lines, and eventually a heart-lung bypass. I was terrified. It is one thing to train for these scenarios; it is another to suddenly be responsible for a child’s life. EP took charge during the child’s resuscitation. In a clear and commanding voice, he made sure all parties were aware of the time ticking by with each new maneuver; he clarified all drug doses and administrations; and he often secretly whispered in my ear if he felt I needed support. Doctors are nothing without the rest of the medical team. The night did not relent, but I always knew that I could look over at EP in solidarity as we navigated this child’s course. –Nominated by Katherine Peeler

Courtney Loper

Courtney Loper has been my daughter’s kidney transplant coordinator for five years. She is the nurse practitioner who coordinates many renal transplants, accounts for all appointments and tests, long-term care, renal rounds while inpatient, labs, and advising on decisions to change dosing. She has a constant smile when you are in the midst of your darkest day. She is our family now. She gets prom, graduation, competition pictures e-mailed to her for every milestone. Nothing is scary because she, along with the greatest team, will handle it. I wheeled my “baby” (she’s 13) into an operating room for an insanely life-changing procedure with a calmness, a positive outlook, and someone to hug. My daughter had a very rough recovery in the very beginning, and Courtney never left her, staying late over Thanksgiving when her day starts so early. I don’t know how she functions. You cannot put a price on peace of mind, but you can put a name to it, our Courtney.Nominated by Jennifer Renna

Brita Larson

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Brita Larson cared for my 5-year-old daughter while she battled brain cancer in 2016. We spent many months in the hospital. The care Leah received exceeded our expectations. Not only is Brita a fantastic nurse, but she made Leah laugh, giving her a snuggle when she needed it, and bringing her a special gift from her vacation. As parents, we were always comforted when we knew Brita was going to be Leah’s nurse. She would advocate for her, and would keep us informed of all that was going on. After we left 9 Northwest and moved downstairs to Leah’s transplant cycle, Brita promised she would visit us at the end of every shift she worked. She was a familiar face who could always brighten Leah’s spirits, and mine, during an extremely hard time for our family. We are forever indebted to Boston Children’s Hospital and the doctors and nurses who cared for our daughter. Brita still follows Leah’s progress and keeps in touch with our family. We have formed a bond that will never go away.Nominated by Jessica Davis

Julie Briere

Julie Briere has been a nurse at the hospital’s newborn intensive care unit for 14 years. I have worked closely with her for that entire time. Suffice it to say, I know her very well. She is an amazing, compassionate, well-educated, competent, humorous, even-tempered, organized, likeable, relatable nurse. In the NICU, tiny preemies and older infants need the highest level of specialized medical and surgical care. Julie does just that. She is often asked to take the role of charge nurse during her shift. Peer nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians all breathe a sigh of relief when they realize that Julie is in charge. Her smile and laugh can brighten even the busiest and most disheartening of days. It is the most difficult decision as a parent to leave your precious infant in someone else’s care. Julie puts parents at ease with her detailed explanations and calm, loving demeanor. She is empathetic to their fears and concerns as she is a mom herself. Julie is sought out by peers for difficult questions, concerns, and procedures. She is a mentor/preceptor to new graduates, teaches new graduate classes on her days off, and works a full schedule. She does all this while furthering her own education and raising her two young, active boys with her husband. I can’t say enough about what an incredible nurse and friend I have found in Julie and I am one of many who would say so. Nominated by Heidi Tatelman

Patricia Burke-Sacco

Patricia Burke-Sacco is my mom and has been a nurse at Boston Children’s for almost 40 years. Throughout my childhood, I was amazed at the way she would talk about work. It was evident that she took every patient into her heart as if they were her own family. I even used to tell my friends that the nurse on the hospital logo was my mom. She continues to have the same passion for nursing that she has always had. Even after all of her experience as a nurse, she still remains humble and seeks out learning opportunities. She is constantly advocating for patients and making sure that children and their families are as comfortable and cared for as possible in a difficult time. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom has been my hero and my inspiration. It is because of her that I became a nurse and I now work with her.Nominated by Elizabeth Sacco

Sarah Basil (Schuler)

On Jan. 27, we were delivered the news no parent wants to hear: Our son, Daniel, who just turned 2, had leukemia. Then, on Jan. 31, we gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Layla May. To say our lives were thrown a curveball is an understatement, and conquering a cancer diagnosis and new baby seemed impossible. Sarah Basil was with us from the start of our month-long inpatient stay with our son. She helped us come from scared, bewildered, angry, and confused parents to parents who had a thorough understanding of the disease, were confident in our son’s treatment, and had more of a positive outlook. Sarah made the worst experience of our life manageable. After a month of having her in our lives, we’ll miss her compassion and support, and hope she’ll remain part of our lives, as she has played a key role in Daniel’s remission and his parents’ sanity. Nominated by Lori Kelleher

Laura Benson

When your daughter is diagnosed with cancer and you are told you’re not leaving the hospital for six weeks, you need a leader, an expert, a coach, a confidant, a motivator, an aunt, a friend, and most of all someone who is willing to maintain their professionalism all while being considered a member of the family. Laura Benson is that person. While  we were still in shock from the news, Laura was assigned to take care of Ava on Sunday, May 8, less than 24 hours after her diagnosis. Ava was petrified, being forced to stay in a strange place, having survived a night where doctors and nurses were constantly checking in on a very grave situation. Our entire world stabilized when Laura got the job. She and Ava clicked and, slowly, she turned Ava into the warrior she is today. Nothing made us happier, as parents, than when we heard at the end of that day, “I’m on Team Ava as her lead nurse. I’m so excited.” Almost every struggle and tough moment, from there on out, was overcome with a nudge and occasional pep talk from Laura. Nobody survives those six weeks of constant poking and prodding, multiple surgeries, countless medicines, ups and downs, and meltdowns without the gentle, guiding, hand of Laura Benson and the amazing resources at her disposal. Ava and Laura will forever be connected. When the Boston Breakers hosted Ava as an honorary captain for their Cancer Night, Laura was there. Nothing makes Ava happier after returning to the Jimmy Fund Clinic for treatment than when we can cross that bridge to Children’s and pay a visit or drop off a gift for Laura. The soon-to-be mom herself has had the best training in the world.Nominated by Marc Girolimetti

Alex Hastings

Alex Hastings takes care of our 2-month-old daughter, Ella, in the NICU at Boston Children’s Hospital. Our daughter was born premature with a rare diagnosis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). We knew Alex was a special nurse from the first day we met her. She is always up to date with everything that is going on with our daughter, which can be difficult when Ella’s plan is constantly changing. She keeps us well informed on everything that is going on and always advocates for what she thinks is best for our girl. She has a great sense of humor and is kind and passionate. It is very obvious how much she cares for our daughter. On one particular occasion when our daughter was having spells where her heart rate and oxygen level were dropping low, Alex responded quickly and calmly and managed to care for Ella and keep everyone calm (in particular me) during a very stressful situation. She always addresses our questions and concerns in a knowledgeable, kind, and genuine manner, which I am sure is not easy considering we tend to have a never-ending list of questions and thoughts. Even the doctors from many, many specialties comment on how nice it is to have one nurse who knows Ella so well. She constantly reminds us that we also need to take care of ourselves by making sure we don’t skip meals and reminding us to take advantage of services that the hospital has to offer. She is truly an angel on earth and has found a special place in our hearts, as well as Ella’s.Nominated by Kate and Dan Brown

8 East Cardiology Team

Every nurse on 8 East in Boston Children’s Hospital has become part of our family. We spent the majority of 2016 living on that floor, waiting for our son Dean’s heart transplant. He was a sick kiddo, sicker than I even realized, but every single nurse made each day better than the one before. The care they gave him is what kept him healthy enough to wait for the perfect heart. These nurses would take time out from their breaks or stay late to make sure Dean had one more story, one more goodbye, and just one more dance party. They also became our best friends; they let us break down and helped us pick ourselves up to see that we had one amazing child whom they had a huge part in raising. Dean spoke his first words on 8 East; he had his first bite of pizza, even his first time-out. Thank you will never be enough, but we want each and every nurse on 8 East to know that they helped our child survive, they gave him a chance at life, and we are beyond thankful to all of them. –Nominated by Janet Kalandranis

Marylou Rogan

Whenever we go to the hospital, we hope we are lucky enough to have Marylou Rogan caring for our son. Having Marylou is like having your most trusted friend who cares and is invested in your child. The days can be long at the hospital but she balances her expert care with her fun nature. When our son was down and out from long hospital days, she would willingly subject herself to rides in the elevator with Josh’s “noise machine,” making Josh and everyone else laugh and making the days not so long. And if you have a medical emergency, you know that she has it handled as well. She is calm and caring and fun and joyful. When I forgot my purse, she went out of her way to send it to me. We feel like we have someone in our court. We love Marylou.Nominated by Sarah Barnes

Elizabeth Sacco

She is a nurse in the CICU 8 South. She was one of those nurses you will always be grateful for and never forget. We met her when my son was 5 days old and was to undergo open heart surgery for a congenital heart defect. Our worlds were flipped upside down. We were terrified. When we met her, she showed us so much compassion and dedication to our little man and always gave us a simpler version of all the medical jargon. The morning before our son, Maverick, was to go down to the OR, he was desaturating and all the bells and whistles were going off. We were scared for what surgery would do. She reassured us that it was normal for a baby with his condition to do it, and she handled his care with grace and a calmness that made us feel safe, and we panicked less. She has a light about her; she made us feel like our son was the most important patient to her. She has kept in contact with us throughout our recent trips back to BCH for Maverick’s appointments and is always checking in to see how he is doing. She handled our son’s care with such love and devotion. We were so blessed to have her during the worst time of our lives. She made it bearable and made sure we took care of ourselves, and we felt our son was safe in her hands.Nominated by Erin Kiteley

Kelsey MacNaughton

Kelsey MacNaughton was our son’s primary nurse in the CICU. She helped to organize his nursing schedule to ensure he received the best care from nurses who knew him, and she knew his idiosyncrasies. During his prolonged stay awaiting his heart transplant. Kelsey would ensure that every aspect of James’ care was perfect. She was more than a nurse to our baby; she became part of his family while he was there. We would all look forward to seeing her because my husband and I knew we could have a peaceful night’s sleep with him in her care, and James would light up when he would see her. Kelsey always made sure to call and keep us informed of any changes in James’ plan or health status and made sure we were never surprised by overnight changes. Kelsey was hyper aware of James’ vitals and blood work and left no stone unturned. It is difficult to find a nurse that you trust when you have a chronically ill child who has spent more time in the hospital than at home, but Kelsey provided us with that comfort. As a young nurse, she took on the role as his primary nurse because her care for him outweighed the extra time and effort that it would require from her. There is no person who would have made a more caring, thorough, invested, or loving primary care nurse for our baby boy. We were blessed to have her in our lives and don’t think we would have had as much time with him if it had not been for the care she provided. It was a pleasure and an honor to have had her be such an integral part of our lives.Nominated by Whitney Bruce

Kathleen Tembrock

My daughter Stephanie spent several months at Boston Children’s Hospital last year awaiting a bi-lateral lung transplant. She has cystic fibrosis and was rapidly declining. She ended up on life support for 31 days prior to the transplant. During our stay, we were fortunate to have Kathleen Tembrock as our primary night nurse. Kathleen is this vibrant, energetic person. When she entered the room, the energy immediately changed. She possesses compassion and empathy, along with outstanding skill. She made sure she took care of the little things that might not be medical in nature. She collaborated with the medical team to make sure they had a coordinated service plan. Kathleen would start the shift and let us know what things needed to be accomplished overnight. Kathleen always took care of the bathing, changing of gowns, bedding, etc. She made sure that Stephanie, as an 18-year-old, had her nails done, and her hair cleaned and styled. Trying to wash the hair of someone on life support is quite a task. Kathleen knew how important this was to Steph. It was amazing to see how she and Stephanie bonded. Even on death’s door, Stephanie would perk up when Kathleen was on duty. She also has an amazing talent with hair. On May 1, 2016, Stephanie received her life-saving gift. Post-transplant, we were able to continue with Kathleen as our nurse. Although there were many new things to learn, it all seemed easier with Kathleen there. She truly is an angel.Nominated by Lisa McKeel

Marissa Thomas

I will start by saying that Marissa Thomas is the most amazing nurse we have ever encountered. We had the pleasure to have Marissa caring for our son during his leukemia treatment. Every night as it would get dark, our 4-year-old son, Ethan, would start asking if Marissa would be the one caring for him and he would light up like it was Christmas when she walked into the room. She made the whole family feel loved. She would even call the hospital on her days off to check on us. It’s mind-blowing to think there are professionals like Marissa out there.Nominated by Thiago Monteiro

Denise Carpenter

Anyone who has spent a long time on 8 East at Boston Children’s Hospital will recognize Denise Carpenter’s cheerful laugh ringing through the halls. Denise brings sunshine wherever she goes. She makes bad days into good ones with her joyful disposition. She is calm, caring, and professional. We cannot imagine her not being there. We look for her in the halls when she is not our nurse. Nominated by Sarah Barnes

John Carr

Nurse John Carr took care of me last June. I can’t say enough positive things about him. Let me start by saying that he never left my side and directed all of his attention towards me. He was compassionate and caring. When I woke from surgery, I was anxious and he kept me calm. He answered every question I had. He is knowledgeable and confident in his work. Though I don’t remember much after the surgery, I will always remember how he was extremely caring towards me. Nominated by Lauren Schoeller

Gretchen Wurst

My niece, Gretchen Wurst, has been a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital for many years. I have watched her grow into a skilled, loving, and compassionate caregiver. Like her mother, she chose pediatric nursing because of her unbridled love for children. I have seen her literally risk her life driving 20 miles through blizzards just to be sure she is there to fill her shift. She works along with her sister to always provide unwavering care for children. I can think of no one who could be trusted more, is more competent, and who can communicate compassion and love for her patients with just her smile. Gretchen does it every day.Nominated by Michael Cannata

9 Northwest Team

Emma spent much of last summer at BCH under care for epilepsy on 9 NW. These nurses made sure  Emma (and I) felt cared for, medically and emotionally. They would give her massages to relieve anxiety, mantras, braid her hair, color with her, and just hang out with a beautiful teenaged girl stuck in the hospital. They are amazing.Nominated by Colleen Johnston

This content was written by the advertiser and edited by BG BrandLab to uphold The Boston Globe's content standards. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its writing, production, or display.