Avery Award of Excellence in Nursing

Tanya Mattern

Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center

Dearborn, Michigan

Nominated by Amanda Ross

Tanya MatternEvery doctor, nurse, surgeon and hospital staff member who took part in my sons recovery will also have a special place in my heart, but throughout Eric’s NICU stay one stood out to us. She cared for each baby like they were her own. Every day at around 3pm we would say out loud, “I hope Tanya is his nurse today.” Even on the days she wasn’t she would stop by his room to check in with us and find out the progress he had made that day. On the good days she was happy, and on the bad she felt our pain with us. She had a way of putting us at ease, especially when it came time to leave him at night. Some nights were harder to leave him than others. On those nights she would take him and promise to hold and rock him until he went to sleep. And she did! It allowed us to rest a little easier knowing he was in good hands. She knew what made him happy! If his music box wasn’t on he was NOT going to sleep. If he was awake and the room was too dark he was not a happy camper. Some mornings when we walked in he would have new toys in his crib. Tanya wanted him and us to feel like he was just like any other baby and also to be as comfortable as possible, after all it was Eric’s home away from home. Often times Dad and I had a lot of questions about what things were, why they were doing what they were doing and what was next. She answered every single question and concern with patience because she knew we deserved to know. She answered it so we fully understood so much that she actually inspired me to consider nursing school. I knew that if I could help people in the way she helped us, but more importantly Eric it would be one very positive thing to take from the whole experience. Over a year later she still checks in with us every now and then. She even came to Eric’s first birthday party and helped us celebrate all of the milestones he had met in just a single year. To Tanya being a nurse is not just a job or a paycheck. She wants to help give babies the chance they deserve which is exactly what she did for Eric. Being a NICU parent is very emotionally draining. To this day I wonder how different our journey would have been if we hadn’t met her. It is a honor to have her in our lives. I know this young woman will continue to touch lives. She has passion and a gift, which is not something you can learn in a textbook. Please select Tanya Mattern. She is an extraordinary women and deserves every bit of recognition she can get!.