I was emotionally broken the first time I met Laura. My daughter, Avery, who was age three at the time, was stuck in a pattern of thousands of daily intractable seizures and had been recently diagnosed with Myoclonic-Astatic Epilepsy. We were in the Emergency Room at McMaster Children’s Hospital, and were being told the news we were longing to hear— that Avery would be accepted into the care of the Neurology Clinic and admitted on an urgent basis for Classic Ketogenic Diet therapy. This news was a relief after our relentless search to find help within Canada and the tears of joy were streaming down my face. And, also down Laura’s.
This empathy that Laura displayed from the first minutes we met her became the common thread between the many times we worked with Laura. She invested in our family in a way far beyond our expectations from that very first day – sharing in the emotional baggage, as well as the big decision-making, and really connecting with our confident and creative daughter. She was Avery’s champion over every hurdle.
I remember very clearly the day that Avery had her first MRI booked. This diagnostic procedure was an unknown for us and Laura knew that Avery was anxious about the procedure. We were speechless as Laura came in on her day off to make sure that Avery was okay. During clinic visits, Laura would bring Avery on special adventures to keep her occupied, safe, and calm. She visited us in the ward during illnesses that landed Avery for inpatient care or during EEGs, coached us, advocated for us on and off the clock, and fundraised for the service most near and dear to her heart – the hospital. Laura’s passion for caring for the health and well-being of children is so evident. She invests in her profession and sets a high standard of excellence.
We have been the most lucky recipients of Nurse Laura’s expertise, empathy, and passion for nursing. Her dedication to working with our family and her medical team contributed significantly to Avery’s neurological and emotional health, helping her to achieve remission. We are forever grateful that Laura was the nurse who took us under her wing when we needed a hero in our lives the most.
Kari Lockett, Mom to Avery
From her patient:
I’m Avery and I had seizures when I was three years old. I had to go to the hospital and they put a tube in my belly to give me medicine and food. Nurse Laura gave me special things because she cares about me. She gave me toys and stuffies because she knows I love them. We went to Nurse Laura’s house to buy cookies and lemonade to help her raise money for the hospital. Nurse Laura is my:
Age 8- In remission from Myoclonic-Astatic Epilepsy
I would LOVE to nominate Laura Bainbridge who works in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at McMaster Children’s Hospital.
I have had the pleasure of working with her for 3hree years and I can genuinely say she is the most selfless and caring person I have ever met. She goes above and beyond to look after everyone else without a thought to herself. She is always leaving me motivational messages and cheering me on in all aspects of my life. She has supported me through many ups and downs through losses of family members or celebrating my successes. She is the biggest cheerleader in my life. I honestly cannot put into words how much she inspires me, lifts me up, makes me feel special, believes in me, supports me and goes so far above and beyond being a colleague.
Administrative Assistant to
Dr. Jeffrey Pernica and Dr. Sarah Khan
This award describes exactly who she is – Laura is in every sense of the word a hero to her patients, her colleagues, and to her friends and family. I have had the privilege to call Laura my colleague for the past five-and-a-half years. As soon as I met Laura, I knew that she was a special person. She has the ability to make everyone feel important and listened to. She will help anyone with pretty much anything if she can. Laura goes above and beyond in so many different aspects of her life.
I was given the daunting task of taking over Laura’s position in the pediatric Neurology clinic at McMaster Children’s Hospital, working with Dr. Ronen. She worked with Dr. Ronen for a number of years, and in that time she became immensely important to the patients and families that she worked with. I know this as I was the one who had to attempt to fill her nursing shoes in this role. Patients would come to clinic or call on the phone and say “where’s nurse Laura?” as soon as they saw me or heard my voice. I would say that she had changed roles, and every single patient and parent expressed how much they would miss her! Time and time again I was told what a difference Laura made in the lives of these patients and their families. There were stories of Laura helping families to understand a recent diagnosis that they had been given, to helping parents “survive” through a tough transition in their child’s medications. There were stories of how kind Laura is and how she always made the children feel a little more at ease at the doctor’s office. A few even said that their child WANTED to come to the hospital as they knew they were going to get to see Nurse Laura.
Laura always puts the needs of her patients first. She is a fierce advocate for her patients and can often be found walking with them to their next appointment, or working to have them seen by another service “since they’re already here”. If she knows a number of tests are needed, then she will do everything in her power to coordinate them all for the same day so as not to inconvenience families more often than needed, but also to get the patients and their families the results as soon as possible as she does not want them to have to worry for any longer than absolutely necessary.
There have been times when Laura has stumbled upon someone sick in the elevator requiring help. I remember one day she told me that she came across a pregnant woman and her daughter, and the woman was clearly in distress. Even though Laura had work to do, she didn’t think twice about it, she immediately helped the woman to get to labour and delivery, and she stayed with the daughter while the mom was taken in, reassuring the daughter that she was not alone and that she would stay with her until other family members arrived. I have no doubt that that little girl will remember Nurse Laura’s kindness, and how she made that very scary situation a little brighter.
There was a particular family that to this day states that they would not have been able to get through what they did with their daughter without Laura. The only reason that they were able to get their daughter to come to the hospital at all was the promise of seeing Laura when she got here. When Laura moved to another team, I tried my best, but I was no substitute for Laura in this patient’s eyes. I can only hope to be the reason my patients like to come to the hospital!!
I know that if asked, there would be countless families that would write letters in support of Laura the Super Nurse. She is one of the kindest, most selfless people that you will ever meet. She will literally do almost anything she can to help someone. In our neighbourhood she is a go-to for medical advice and has been known to accompany friends with sick children to the hospital if needed.
Laura is an amazing nurse, mother, friend, and colleague. I really can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. She truly is a hero to so many.
Beth Hawke, Registered Nurse, Pediatric Neurology – 2G Clinics McMaster Children’s Hospital Hamilton Health Sciences.