Daisy Award

August 2017 Recipient—Brandi Cruz – PICU

Our son has received nothing but the best care throughout his entire stay at Children’s Hospital. Our son, Jackson, was born with CDH and we have been in the NICU for over 2 months now. One nurse in particular has stood out from day one. Brandi Cruz has become the third parent in our little family. We frequently go to her for support and advice; she always knows exactly what to say and how to say it. She takes such great care of these sick babies, often making families feel as though she is there very own private nurse. Brandi has been nothing short of amazing.

I can’t remember a lot from the first few weeks we were here; it was all a blur between ECMO, tests, “50% chance of survival”, surgery, alarms, etc. We were hurting, confused, terrified and lost. Brandi explained everything in detail, often answering questions for us that we hadn’t thought of yet. She gave us privacy when we needed to think and a friend to talk to when we needed comfort. I can still remember talking to her one day while Jackson was sedated and on ECMO. She made me laugh, something I hadn’t done in weeks. She walked over to Jackson, repositioning him, and began to talk to him too. He smiled the biggest, gummiest little smile I have ever seen. My heart melted into a puddle on the floor. I will never forget how she made us feel. She has been so gentle, kind and caring to not only our son, but to us as well. We are always at peace knowing that Brandi is somewhere on the unit. She serves as the ultimate patient advocate. The trust and rapport that we have built with her is the one thing we can count on everyday. Her upbeat attitude, positive nature, and exceptional skills are an undeniable asset to Children’s Hospital and our lives are better for meeting her. Now here we are, so close to going home. He still lights up every time she walks in the room. His first word may be “Brandi”, but that will be OK. We will never, ever forget her.


August 2017 Nomination List

Jerome Joy - 6 Dearth
Warren Skinner - Burn Unit
Adam Sloan - 9 QB
Kayla Patterson - 7 Dearth
Melissa Cherry - 10 Harbert
Tracie Damsgard - Infusion Clinic
Albert Bonds - 9 QB
Sarah Brewis - NICU
Hannah Sullivan - SCU


daisylogo.gifThe DAISY Foundation was established in 2000 by the Barnes family in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Having been touched by the remarkable care, clinical skills and compassion demonstrated by nurses during Patrick's illness, the Barnes family made it their mission to recognize exceptional nurses around the world.

A DAISY Award will be given once a month. The monthly award winner will be recognized at a ceremony and will receive a framed certificate, a DAISY Award signature lapel pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer's Touch. Additionally, the unit or department of the recipient will receive Cinnabon's cinnamon rolls—a favorite of Patrick's during his illness—with the sentiment that the heavenly aroma will remind them how special they are and how important their work is.

Nurses that receive The DAISY Award personify Children's of Alabama's remarkable patient experience. These individuals consistently demonstrate excellence by:

  • Serving as a role model for the nursing profession
  • Demonstrating a caring attitude in all situations
  • Communicating with compassion, using words the patient and family understand
  • Making a significant difference in the life of a patient

Download the Nomination Form