On January 30, 2019, there was a very special surprise in the NICU at Saint Joseph Hospital. Lindsey Hayes Daly, Executive Director of the Hayes Family Foundation and mom of Clare, one of our NICU grads who was featured on the Wall of Hope, made an unexpected visit to NICU nurse Diane Holten.
During the visit, Lindsey informed Diane that the Hayes Family Foundation made a gift to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation and established the Diane Holten Scholarship Fund for NICU Education. The fund will support nursing and caregiver education to help supply resources for the NICU team to continue to be able to provide the highest level of care for NICU patients and their families.
Lindsey described how during their two week stay in the NICU, all the nurses empowered her and her husband Trevor as parents to feel confident in taking care of Clare once they got home. Clare is now an energetic and healthy six-year-old.
Here is an excerpt of a letter that Lindsey sent to the NICU a month after Clare was born:
"Diane Holten is one of the most amazing people I have ever encountered. I knew within minutes that we wanted her to be our primary nurse. She was the first nurse to truly recognize the impact this experience was having on our family and home life. On her first day, she gave us a little doll to sleep with and then give to Clare so she could smell us. We were new to the NICU and did not know what we could and could not do. She guided us so that we could make the most of our time visiting Clare, but also not feel guilty when we were away with our son. We were so lucky to have Diane for six days. She got to know our family, friends and visitors as we did her. Her support was subtle and powerful. I did not realize until we were home how much Diane prepared us for the adjustment home. She gave us confidence – not only in Clare’s recovery, but in the “normal” baby responsibilities that we initially missed out on. She would go out of her way to answer our questions and provide helpful advice. I truly miss our time together and feel so happy for the other families who receive her care."
At the presentation, Lindsey called Diane her "super angel nurse" and said she knows they aren't the only family that has been blessed by the help of all the amazing NICU nurses and caregivers at Saint Joseph Hospital.
Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Diane and the entire NICU team.