Tiffini Esch receives DAISY Award

Published: Sept. 4, 2018

In December of 2017, Lennon was born prematurely to a mother with many physical health complications. Lennon spent over 50 days in the RNICU and during that entire time his mother was also a patient here at Sparrow. Lennon’s mother was unable to visit the RNICU due to her condition and his father was trying to juggle work, taking care of the three-year-old sibling, and having a wife and infant both in the hospital. Tiffini realized the struggles that this father was facing and stepped in to become Lennon’s primary care nurse. Tiffini made extra efforts to maker sure that Lennon’s father knew the plan of care and how Lennon was doing when he couldn’t visit. She also took extra steps to arrange for his grandmothers to come spend time with Lennon and to line up volunteers to just come and cuddle with him to give him some extra loving interaction. When Lennon could finally go home, she spent lots of time coordinating how to make sure that not only Lennon’s dad, but both grandmothers became comfortable with all the extra care a preemie needs. Tiffini bonded with his family and provided them much needed support during the baby’s time in the RNICU.

Last week Kathleen Naber came to me to explain that Lennon’s mother had remained in Sparrow care after the baby was discharged and that she was not going to recover. Kathleen had been spending time with Lennon’s mother and was working to help her come to peace with her decision to move to hospice care. One of her request was a family photo and Lennon’s father remembered that Tiffini had talked to him about her love of doing photography. Kathleen went out of her way to search the information about how to contact Tiffini and working together they were able to coordinate a photo shoot for this family to try to help ease their grief.

These ladies both saw a need and coordinated their talents to make it happen for this family. They exemplified the fact that we are here to care for the whole individual, including those needs that are not physical, but emotional. They went above and beyond to provide this family with something that they will value for a lifetime. I am honored to have Tiffini as a nurse here in the RNICU and amazed at the what our palliative care team members do every day.

Sarah Collins MSN, RNC-NIC
Department Manager RNICU and Special Care Nursery

Tiffini Esch provided a thoughtful and loving service to a family during a very tragic time of life. Tiffini is a nurse in RNICU and cared for a baby named Lennon at the beginning of his life. During this time, she developed a relationship with Lennon’s family and knew of the dire situation they faced. Lennon’s mother developed life threatening complications and unfortunately, she never recovered. Three months after giving birth, Lennon’s mom, at the age of 37, moved to Sparrow Hospice House for her final days of life. The family did not have a single photo of all four of them together prior to the transfer but thanks to Tiffini, they now have multiple photos of the family to share with three-month-old Lennon and three-year-old Finnigan.

Tiffini provided care that falls outside of traditional nursing care. She demonstrated how nursing is more than a profession. It is a vocation. She came to Sparrow Specialty Hospital where Lennon’s mom had been living for the past several months to take family photos. She had to arrange daycare for her four children, take time from her day and face the emotionally challenging situation to help ease this family’s pain during the turmoil of this tragic story. She offered her photography talents to this family accepting nothing but their gratitude. Tiffini exemplifies a nurse who provides radical loving care.

Kathleen Naber and Erin Cobb
Palliative Care