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Boston Children’s Hospital
Laura Grace Cardona, Boston Children’s Hospital
Laura Grace Cardona is simply a beautiful person. This mother of three—soon to be four—not only tends to the kids and parents at Children’s, but also what she does on the way into work and going back home is priceless. She calls her mom around 6:30 a.m. on the way in and around 7 p.m. on the way home. They both speak so joyfully, as if it were their first call together in years. My heart smiles when I see that it’s Laura calling. So proud and blessed to have you as our daughter. You’re such a hard worker, and a wonderful nurse. All nurses are our “angels on earth” and we have a beautiful one. —Nominated by Tim McKinney
Ryan Delpero, Boston Children’s Hospital
My husband, Bill, and I first met Ryan when our son, Lucas, was admitted to the Medical-Surgical ICU at BCH on June 19, 2018. Lucas was in a coma and near death. He had taken a newly prescribed migraine medicine, Aimovig, and went into status epilepticus. At first, we didn’t know what caused his condition. Ryan was the first ICU nurse to take care of Lucas. Bill and I were instantly amazed at how calm and careful he was while handling Lucas in such a precarious state. We knew Lucas was in expert and compassionate hands with Ryan. Ryan also helped us deal with the crisis and fears that he might die.
Lucas was on a ventilator with tubes and IV lines everywhere, but Ryan gave us hope that everything possible was being done, and he was with Lucas every second of his shift. Even though we could see that Ryan was extremely busy, he made it clear that we could ask him anything and he would do his best to answer. Lucas was in the ICU for almost three weeks and Ryan was often his nurse, even supervising plasmapheresis when it was administered. We had the utmost trust in Ryan’s care. He anticipated problems and dealt with them quickly.
Lucas left the ICU, but then spent two months in the hospital and rehab. Ryan kept in touch with us and reassured us that he would soon be home. Lucas did come home, but had to go back to BCH in July 2020, until he passed away that November.
Lucas was often in the ICU and Ryan was his nurse again during those almost-five months. Whenever Lucas had to go to the ICU and I saw Ryan, it was such a relief. We were friends by then and he knew the agony we felt to see Lucas so sick. He comforted us, as well as taking excellent care of Lucas. When Lucas was ready to transfer to the neurology floor, Ryan always advocated for Lucas to go back to 9 NW, where everyone knew him. We hold Ryan close to our hearts. —Nominated by Elissa Warner
Katie Dormans, 10 NW, Boston Children’s Hospital
Katie was my nurse when I was admitted on 10 NW after a major hip surgery a year ago. Her welcoming personality helped me through a tough admission. She put my needs first, making sure I was as comfortable as possible, and always knew what the next steps were. Katie always had encouraging words, no matter how big or small the task at hand. She wasn’t assigned to me on my most recent surgical admission, but recognized me while passing in the hallway. She was excited to see me and cared about how I was doing. Katie went out of her way to visit my room to see how I was doing after another surgery. When the two of us chatted, it was what I needed at the moment. Seeing a familiar face in a tough situation made me feel more comfortable. Her thoughtfulness made me smile when the hospital was so busy. Katie really cares for all of her patients, and I’ll always remember this small gesture and all our interactions. —Nominated by Christine Dundon
Genevieve McCallum, 10 NW, Boston Children’s Hospital
When Genevieve walked in for morning rounds after my hip dysplasia surgery, I knew I was in good hands. I had met her during a previous admission, but she was on the night shift then. Her upbeat personality and smile (even under a mask) helped make the tough times easier. When she walked in, she already knew my situation and wanted to know how she could best help me get through this. Together we came up with a plan, and she reassured me everything would work out. Throughout her shift, both Genevieve and the nurse she was training would check in and put my needs first. Genevieve made sure I always had everything I needed and felt comfortable with each and every decision. Being admitted is never easy, but seeing a familiar face makes it a little more bearable. I am grateful for Genevieve and the other nurses on 10 NW who supported me through this admission. —Nominated by Christine Dundon
Katie Noble, Boston Children’s Hospital
As an oncology nurse for the past 20 years, Katie has been caring for children who are very often terminally ill or have other life-threatening illnesses. As a mom of three young children, Katie always manages to put aside what’s happening in her life and serve those who need her the most: her patients. In addition to her job, Katie also finds the time to make sure that her elderly grandparents are getting the services they deserve. Her compassionate demeanor extends well beyond her work at Children’s. Last spring, a colleague who was three months pregnant lost her husband suddenly, and since then Katie has visited on her days off to help with her new baby and give her the emotional support that she desperately needs. She’s not only a wonderful nurse, but an amazing human being as well. —Nominated by Maryrose Noble
Kim Pappas, Boston Children’s Hospital
It’s hard to only use 300 words when describing this real-life hero. People think of ICU nurses or med-surg nurses first, but mental health nurses also put in the most work. Kim works full time as a high school nurse, serving a dual role in public health, and works on an adolescent psychiatric stabilizing unit. Her acts of selflessness are indescribable. She saves lives one crisis at a time and makes it look easy. Anyone who works alongside Kim is truly a better nurse. —Nominated by Melanie Velleco
Douglas Richardson, Boston Children’s Hospital
Doug Richardson took care of our son from July 6, 2020, until he passed away on Nov. 17. Our son had an extremely rare and complicated disease known as cerebral proliferative angiopathy. Doug was by our side for almost five months, never once wavering in his excellent care. His compassion for our whole family was never-ending. Our son’s hospitalization was during COVID, so there were many visitor restrictions. Doug and the staff on 9 NorthWest made sure that family and close friends were by our side when needed the most.
Our son had many needs: frequent medication changes, physical care, nutrition needs, proper positioning in bed, IV and PIC line concerns, respiratory and cardiac monitoring, catheter issues, bedsore prevention, and oral hygiene, to name the most important. There were frequent emergencies and transfers to the ICU, all of which Doug handled in the most calm and competent manner. Doug not only took care of our son, but he also took care of our entire family. We asked him to come to Lucas’s funeral and he felt honored to be included.
The morning Lucas died, I was getting ready to go home to shower, but Doug had the intuition that I should stay. Lucas died an hour later in my arms. I am forever grateful to Doug for his wisdom, nursing care, and compassion during the most difficult time for all of us. —Nominated by Elissa Warner