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The Catalyst

Cardio nurse receives DAISY from program co-founder

By J. Ryne Danielson
Public Relations

5East ART nurse Eileen Sandlin is the newest DAISY winner. photos by J. Ryne Danielson, Public Relations

Eileen Sandlin, R.N., wore a quizzical expression as she rounded the corner onto 5 East, her floor at Ashley River Tower. Her friends and colleagues lined the corridor, trying to maintain the guise of business as usual. Sandlin's husband and two daughters, hiding in a doorway, were also there. Everyone had gathered for a surprise ceremony to honor Sandlin, the latest recipient of the DAISY award.

Established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, of Amarillo, Texas, the award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the superhuman feats nurses perform every day. Each month, at participating health care organizations, one nurse is selected to receive the award. More than 400,000 individuals have been nominated worldwide, but fewer than 10 percent of them have been chosen.

Barnes died at the age of 33 from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, an autoimmune disease. “We were absolutely devastated,” his wife, Tena Barnes, explained. “He was young. We had just started a family.”
“There wasn't a whole lot positive about the experience,” she continued.  Nonetheless, as the family sought a way to channel their grief into something positive, they kept coming back to his nurses. Not only did Patrick Barnes' nurses demonstrate great clinical skill, Tena Barnes told those gathered, but also selflessness and compassion, day in and day out, even when he was completely sedated. “They really took care of me and my family. We wanted a way to thank them.”

Winner Eileen Sandlin, center, is joined by co-workers, her children and DAISY founder Tena Barnes third from righ.

Each year Tena Barnes attends four DAISY ceremonies, and this year included Sandlin’s. “Nurses do so many things that are extraordinary — and you just do it every day because it's who you are,” she told Sandlin and her colleagues directly.

The acronym DAISY, which stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, was chosen to bring attention to Patrick Barnes' illness. Almost 1,800 health care providers participate in the program, in the United States and 14 other countries. “This is truly international recognition,” Tena Barnes said.

Participating organizations establish their own merit — based criteria for determining which nurses are eligible to be presented with the DAISY award. At MUSC, nurses may be nominated by colleagues, patients, visitors, physicians, staff, or volunteers; winners are selected by blind vote by the Nurse Alliance Leadership Council at MUSC Health.
Sandlin was nominated by MUSC’s Tracy Fields, R.N. Fields related the story of a 27–year–old heart transplant

December 7, 2014



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