Nurses Bring Hope to Parents of Preemie Twins

While there are countless ways to measure the delivery of health care, few benchmarks more precisely capture patient commitment than these words about eight University of Chicago Medical Center colleagues: “A frightening and sad time evolved into one of hope and happiness.”

Andrea Kmieciak gave birth at 24 weeks on June 20, 2008, to twins Nicholas and Tyler. The boys weighed a little more than a pound each. In a February 3 letter excerpted below, the new mom describes how the difficult months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) led to her taking home two healthy sons, thanks to the “capability, intention and dedication of the entire University of Chicago Medical Center staff.”

February 3, 2009

“When our lives changed forever on June 20, 2008, with the birth of Nicholas and Tyler Kmieciak at just over 24 weeks and just over a pound each, we could not know what to expect as we entered the world of the NICU and micropreemies. Our time in the NICU was long and stressful, but we never questioned the capability, intention and dedication of the entire University of Chicago Medical Center staff as they worked to help Nicholas and Tyler go home strong and as soon as possible… Looking back, we can honestly say that a frightening and sad time evolved into one of hope and happiness due in no small part to many wonderful nurses and nurse practitioners.

“We had many nurses who took amazing care of Nicholas and Tyler over their four-and-a-half months in the NICU. …We were truly blessed to have Eman Alwawi, Brittany Hayes, Julie Heslinga, Kristie Minton and Wendy Reynolds as primary nurses. We would also like to thank the nurse practitioners Christine O’Malley and Christine Elsen, another integral part of the boys’ successful path. Thanks to everyone, there are so many, who made the long days and nights easier, especially Sylvia Hamilton and Charmaine Cooper whose gentle words helped with every phone call.

“The university should be proud to have such a wonderful asset, and we thank all of them for their hard work and kindness.”

-The Kmieciak Family