Her "Forever Home" at the NICU
In addition to caring for newborns, Amanda prides herself on being able to calm families in scary moments. “I just love when I can allay the fears of the family,” she says. “Their bubble has just been burst. They’ve had this ideal pregnancy and birth all planned out, and then something goes wrong. The patients are just thinking, ‘Will he survive?’”
In those moments, Amanda makes it her priority to go above and beyond in making sure the family is well-informed and updated frequently. She uses her medical background to make sure the parents understand in layman’s terms what’s wrong with the child, which can be very reassuring. “I just love it, making the parents feel calm and letting them know that their baby will be ok. It’s a lot of patience and listening,” Amanda says.
When graduation day finally comes, and the baby gets to go home, Amanda gets a sense that she’s fulfilling her purpose. “Celebrating that joy and happiness with the family is amazing. On one hand, it’s bittersweet because I’ve become a NICU auntie, especially for long-term babies,” she says, “But I know that my ultimate goal has been achieved, because the baby is finally well enough to go home.”
Many of these babies keep in touch via the NICU’s online private support group and participate in the annual Father’s Day 5K and Fun Walk, which benefits the NICU. Amanda is captain of the NICU 5K team and loves being reunited with her patients at the race each year. “It’s amazing to see the kids, who were once so little and in critical condition, just thriving,” she says. “Their parents teach them who we are and tell them about how their life was started in the NICU. It makes up for the heartbreaking moments, knowing that we are saving lives every day.”
This year, the proceeds from the 5K benefit the NICU unit being built at GBMC! The renovations will allow for increased privacy, more space for equipment, and refrigerated drawers for storing break milk within patient rooms. Please join Amanda and the rest of the NICU team as they run or walk to raise money for GBMC’s tiniest patients on Sunday, June 17, 2018 at the 30th annual Father’s Day 5K and Fun Walk. Click here to register or to support the event!