When Sammy Leslie checked out of Baptist Health several days after giving birth, her newborn son had to stay behind in the NICU. The special going-home onesie she’d packed would stay tucked in her suitcase, the car seat would sit empty in the backseat, and the nursery would remain quiet a little while longer.
It was a difficult day made easier by compassionate caregivers.
“A NICU nurse said, ‘I know today may be hard for you and that this is not what you had planned.’ This gave me permission to stop trying to be strong for a moment and feel my emotions. It was OK to not be OK,” the first-time mom recalled. “She saw women like me every day, yet I was not just another patient to her. She was not just going through the motions, and she had not become numb to the human aspect of her job. She came to work every day because she truly wanted to make a difference in the world and help people like me and my baby. I now had someone I could trust, and it made leaving my baby behind a little bit easier.”
Making matters even more challenging at the time, COVID prevented the couple’s families from comforting them at the hospital. “The NICU nurses became our surrogate moms for those weeks,” Sammy said. “They knew just how to comfort us and make the process as easy as possible. We were blown away by the amount of genuine care we were shown.”
“Going into the NICU was the scariest moment of our lives, but we left feeling like we had gained family,” she added. “This experience reminded me that our community is made up of good, kind people that we can rely on and trust, and for that I am grateful.
You don’t realize just how big of an impact a small act of kindness can have.