Avery Award of Excellence in Neonatal Nursing

Bradley Epiche RN

LeBonheur Children’s Hospital

Memphis, Tennessee

Nominated by Myranda Milam

I’m a first time mother at 19 years old. My son Jaxn has a condition called Vanishing Gastroschisis and he is a short-gut baby. We had not been here at Le Bonheur very long when a certain nurse not only walked into our room but into our hearts. The first night we had Bradley Epiche as our nurse we knew instantly that we wanted to make sure we had him as much as we could, so he became our primary! There are not enough words I could write that could tell you how we feel about Bradley. He can make anyone laugh on their absolute worst day, as he has done to me. No matter how bad the outcome looks or the situation is, he remains very supportive and positive. He takes his job to the next level and deserves way more than what we can offer him. There is a bond between Jaxn and Bradley that is undeniable. There was a day that nothing I did made Jaxn happy, I was stressed and beyond tired and just wanted Jaxn to be the happy baby he is. Bradley walked into the room and picked him up, swayed with him and sang to him and Jaxn INSTANTLY stopped crying! There have been times where I’ve woke up in the middle of the night and Bradley is talking to Jaxn and playing with him in his free time. I was instantly comforted because I knew Jaxn was in the best hands. There is no other nurse here that I could trust any more than I do Brad. This is not just a job to him. He has gone above and beyond with Jaxn’s care from the very beginning , and anyone can see that Jaxn isn’t just one of Brads “assignments” . One day the Doctors informed us that Jaxn’s newborn screening came back positive for cystic fibrosis, a disease I lost my mother to at a young age. I instantly went to find Brad when his shift started. He hurt with me, and hugged me as I cried and gave me a pep talk I’ll always hold to my heart and repeat to myself daily. “You have to stop worrying about the future and stressing about his condition and the things you can’t change, instead focus on Jaxn TODAY, love Jaxn TODAY and when you look at him see something other than his condition because he is much more than that.” Bradley has changed my outlook on this long road we are facing. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, I don’t know where we would be without him. I’ve told him before, he makes the days to come bearable and the nights sleepable. Bradley is not just a nurse to us, he is family. And I believe he is more than deserving of this reward. He has rejoiced in Jaxn’s victories big and small, comforted us when we were down, has held us when we cried, and has given us hope when we couldn’t find any. Even now that we are on the infant and toddler floor, Bradley dedicates every Friday morning to Jaxn for a play date. Bradley is a blessing to us.