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The NICU Heart Award is given to NICU medical team professionals that have gone above and beyond for their hospital, patients and NICU community. Project Preemie’s NICU Heart Award offers families the opportunity to recognize special NICU medical professionals who have impacted their lives. Each recipient will receive a special NICU Heart keepsake, Project Preemie gift and two VIP tickets to our annual Night for Babies event. Congratulations!


 
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September 2019-Liz Geffert, Fairview hospital

Nominated by: Katie Charmley

There were so many amazing nurses and doctors helped care for our 27 weeker son when he was born 2.5 years ago at Fairview Hospital. However, one nurse will always be near and dear to my heart.

I will never forget being rolled into the NICU in a wheelchair up to my son's isolette for the first time - both my husband and I were both scared to death. We had only seen our son's face momentarily before he had been whisked away to the NICU after his breech and precipitous birth. I recall my husband and I being overcome with emotion as we first really got to see our son. I equally recall the warm, comforting, friendly nurse that greeted us and essentially introduced us to our son.

While we "met" our son, we also met Liz. Liz grounded us - she made us feel comfortable in the least comfortable position and place imaginable. She explained all the tubes, wires, bells, and alarms to us. She warned us about the 'NICU roller coaster' and the 'honeymoon' stage - both were incredibly true for us. Our son Anthony had good days and bad - and some really scary days too. We were learning to be parents and care for our son although we weren't doing that ever how we'd expected to.

As we were getting to know our son, we also got to know Liz. She always made us laugh! She always had a funny story to tell us - and her being so personalable made her like family to us. She shared stories about her family and her life that made us not think about all the stressful scary things we were going through. Liz was a breath of fresh air. Not only did she take excellent care of Anthony, she also took care of us. She taught me so many things... and was there to support my husband and I during our first kangaroo, diaper changes, cares, bottle feedings, baths. She would talk to us about her wonderful family and how she would share stories with them about 'silly' (or crazy) things Anthony did (he gave all the nurses a run for their money!) Liz also made cute little crafts from Anthony, and those items I will always cherish.

When Anrhony was being moved to the developmental room we feared we would lose Liz as our primary. I recall being in that room the first day and although Liz was working, she wasnt assigned to Anthony. Liz was able to step away to come visit us in the other room. I remember crying to her because I was so upset as it seemed like she wasn't going to be our nurse anymore. Liz was also upset we were moved! We addressed it with the charge nurse and some of the upper members of the staff. Fortunately, they moved Liz to the developmental room to continue to care for Anthony.

Liz was the comfort and consistency we needed! Although we were happy to leave the NICU after 75 long days, we were sad to leave Liz.To this day we think of her often and all the wonderful conversations and experiences we shared with her. She absolutely made an lasting impression on my family and we will forever be thankful for her. The care she provided us is unmatched. She is an amazing person and most definitely is an outstanding nurse that most definitely deserves to be recognized.