While house hunting last December, UC Davis nurses Nicholas and Debbie Meyers ended up doing more than the usual consideration of granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances: They saved the life of a young child.

In recognition of their actions, the nurses received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the extraordinary efforts nurse perform every day.

Nicholas Meyers works in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, while Debbie Meyers works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. After they made their way to the backyard of the house they had come to visit, they heard cries for help.

Nicholas immediately jumped over the fence to find out what was happening. Debbie quickly followed him by breaking through the fence. The nightmarish scenario they encountered was a 3-1/2-year-old boy who had been pulled from a swimming pool, accompanied by his mother and her friend. The boy had no pulse and a blue complexion.

Under Debbie’s direction, she and Nicholas immediately began applying CPR, and instructed the mother to call 911. After Debbie and Nicholas had performed CPR for about five minutes, liquid started coming out of his mouth. He then began coughing and breathing, and his pulse returned.

Carol Robinson, Chief Patient Care Services Officer, presented the awards to Debbie and Nicholas. It was the last time that Robinson, who will retire at the end of this month, presented DAISY awards.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a little-known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.
The DAISY Award is designed to honor nurses who provide extraordinary patient care. Nurses, who provide exceptional patient care, over and above their typical job expectations, may be nominated. It is best that specific patient stories are provided to illustrate the impact the nurse has had on the patients and their families.

The DAISY Foundation

The DAISY Foundation was formed in January, 2000, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. When their son Patrick was ill, the Barnes family was in awed by the skill, care, and compassion of his nurses. They created The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses in 2001 to say thank you to nurses around the country, because they believed nurses are truly "unsung heroes." They felt nurses are deserving of our society's profound respect and recognition for the education, training, brainpower, and skill they put into their work, not to mention the caring with which they deliver their care.

What is The DAISY Award?

The DAISY Award is a nation-wide program that recognizes nursing excellence. In memory of Patrick, the Barnes family recalled the skillful and compassionate care Patrick received from his nurses during his eight-week hospitalization. They wanted to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere by establishing a recognition program - The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses (The DAISY Award) - to honor the super-human work nurses do every day at the bedside.

The DAISY Award recipient 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.

Who is eligible for the DAISY Award?

DAISY Award recipients are registered nurses who exemplify the nursing values: Extraordinary Compassion, Courage, Integrity, in every situation!

These individuals consistently demonstrate excellence in the delivery of patient care and promotion of their professional nursing practice.

The UC Davis Medical Center Daisy Foundation Committee invites nominations for recognizing nurses for exemplary bedside nursing care. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses-Nomination Form (PDF) is available for download. Each month one nurse will be chosen to receive the award.