MAGNET MONDAY: Ann O’Sullivan honored with the DAISY Award
Congratulations to Ann O’Sullivan, RN, AAMC’s most recent DAISY Award recipient. About 50 friends and colleagues gathered in the L&D lobby to surprise Ann on Monday morning.
Sherry B. Perkins, COO/CNO and Tori Bayless, CEO, extended their congratulations and awarded Ann with a DAISY plaque. She also received a DAISY pin from physician colleague Joseph Morris, MD, and a DAISY figurine from nominator Mary Hantske, RN. We were especially honored to celebrate this award with the co-founders of the DAISY Foundation, Mark and Bonnie Barnes.
Here is an excerpt from Ann’s nomination letter:
Ann O’Sullivan coordinates our Perinatal Loss and Palliative Care Programs at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Annie O, as she is fondly called, officially became our program coordinator in 2003, but has been supporting parents who have experienced the loss of a child since 1988.
Annie, who works as a Labor and Delivery nurse, developed our Perinatal Loss Program, educates experienced nurses about how to best support families experiencing a loss, and meets with all of our new Women’s and Children’s staff members each month. Now Annie has developed a Palliative Care Program for families whose children are born with devastating illnesses or conditions that are incompatible with life. Annie has the ability to connect with couples who are grieving, help them during the worst days of their lives, offer non-judgmental care, and encourage practices which help them remember and treasure the life they created, however brief.
Recently, two brave women came to our Women’s and Children’s in-service to share their heart-wrenching experiences. Both had learned early in their pregnancies that the babies they were carrying had anencephaly – a condition where the brain and skull do not develop properly.
Babies with anencephaly cannot live long outside of the womb. Neither mother considered abortion as an option, but they did not know how to proceed.
They were put in contact with Annie O, who listened to their wishes and helped them develop detailed plans for what would happen in the hospital. Both women wanted to spend as much time with their babies as possible, and hoped to be able to take their babies home.
Annie worked with the obstetricians to help them understand the wishes of their patients. Annie also worked with the pediatricians to develop specific orders that would be used in the hospital – orders which would ensure no unnecessary procedures would be performed and the parents would have as much time as possible with their newborns.
Each mother had a successful birth and was able to spend precious time with their baby. One of the babies lived for five days and the other baby lived for three hours. Each family was able to go home with their baby, where they were surrounded by their supportive families and friends and were able to care for their babies until they drifted from this life into the next.
While three hours or five days might not sound like much time, this was all the time they had, and Annie was able to help them make the most of it. They will always treasure this precious time with their babies. And they will never forget the difference Annie made in their lives.
As one of these mothers said when she recently came back to have another baby, “We knew everything was going to be okay because Annie was here. And if something unexpected happened, we knew WE would be okay because Annie was here.
From all of us at AAMC, we offer our congratulations for this well-deserved award, Ann!
View all the pictures from this event here.