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When a Nurse's Love Endures All Things | Nurse Appreciation Week '24


Nurse Audrey, Mom Mariah, and Baby Isabella
Nurse Audrey, Mom Mariah, and Baby Isabella

Mariah's Journey Through Suffering

Mariah learned early on in her pregnancy of some abnormalities on her ultrasound. Having experienced the miscarriage of their twins less than a year prior, Mariah and her husband were devastated at the thought of losing this child too. For clarity, Mariah and her husband opted for a blood test to learn more about the abnormalities.  The results revealed a high risk for Down Syndrome and some suspected heart defects very common in babies with Down Syndrome.


Mariah recounts the feelings of anxiety and worry surrounding her daughter's arrival into the world. “A whole team of professionals were on standby ready to swoop in and take our daughter to the NICU. I remember looking at my husband’s face after delivery to see if I could read it. Did she in fact have Down Syndrome? Why were so many people working on her? Was something wrong?


When they finally let Mariah hold her daughter Isabella, Mariah confessed she was scared to hold her.  Still pretty blue, even with the help of oxygen, it was obvious that Isabella was struggling. Mariah silently prayed over her daughter, sang a few words over her, and then handed Isabella to the team to be transported to the NICU. Although momentary, Mariah remembers the feelings of loneliness in being separated from the child who grew in her womb for the past 9 months.



Nurse Audrey loving on her patient, sweet Isabella
Nurse Audrey loving on her patient, sweet Isabella
The Power of Love

When Mariah was wheeled into Isabella’s room, Nurse Audrey was standing over Isabella’s bed. With her warm eyes smiling, she excitedly called Mariah to her side. Gently and lovingly, Nurse Audrey educated Mariah on the beautifully unique features Isabella had with her Down Syndrome diagnosis.  A single crease in her hand where most babies had two creases and the adorable extra space between her first and second toes.  Mariah shares, “I felt Nurse Audrey loved my baby for exactly who she was and it reminded me my daughter was fearfully and wonderfully made and God doesn’t make mistakes.  I had a high level of connection and trust in Nurse Audrey from that moment on.”


When a Category 5 hurricane hit southwest Florida during Isabella’s 75-day NICU stay, Nurse Audrey was by her side when Mariah and her husband were unable to be.  Also experiencing the crisis of a natural disaster, Nurse Audrey was unable to contact her own family. Yet there she was, faithfully present with Isabella and selflessly caring for her, even as she helplessly watched her car float away in the parking lot.  Nurse Audrey even stayed with Isabella long after her shift was over to personally hand over to the transport team as all the babies were evacuated and transported across the state.

 


Join us in recognizing Nurse Audrey as a 2024 Praying Through ministries Nurse of Distinction for delivering gospel hope to families in dark seasons of childhood illness, childhood hospitalizations, and/or child loss.  From Mariah's story we see how Nurse Audrey delivers gospel hope by loving like Jesus. She speaks life. She loves. She sacrifices. She is faithful. As Nurse Audrey embodies the hope of the gospel, she delivers it too–radiating His love into dark seasons of suffering–and that’s worth celebrating!






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