My 5 year old son needed surgery to treat a birth defect called  Chiari Malformation. The procedure took place at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.  This is a surgery typically keeps a child in the hospital anywhere from 3-7 days once the operation is performed.   We ended up staying longer, due to complications—on and off for approximately 35 days.

I look at every business, including a hospital, and ask myself, “How would I run it if I were the CEO?”  One thing that really stood out to me the most… the nurses. (Later in the E.R., I learned that the male nurses are called murses!)

When my son came out of his first surgery they moved him to the post op area.   People running around everywhere, beeping alarm sounds coming from all the machines, and the cries from children and babies.  Amongst all this chaos were the calm nurses taking care of everyone.   It was truly the “Waffle House” of nursing—such a site to see. Organized chaos at its best! I learned later on that they had around 70 procedures planned out for that day.

Once he was out of the PICU, they took him up to his own room on the 8th floor.  When you’re stuck somewhere for that long, you pray that you’re going to be with people who have compassion and understanding for your situation.   The shirt design you see below was the result of meeting all the absolutely wonderful nurses at the hospital.   We appreciated them and all their hard work and wanted to give something back.  We ended up giving out over 400+ t-shirts! There’s nothing better than having my little girl, who is 9 years old, walking beside me to pass them out.  It was important to me for her to experience this and thank them for taking care of her little brother.

The coolest thing about this design is the “Nurses Creed” printed on the inside front of the tee. I told them my reasoning: “There are going to be difficult days where you may question why you do what you do… and during those days, all you need to do is read the inside of your t-shirt.”

Not to take anything way from the wonderful Doctors—we have to give thanks to Dr. Tulipan for having the guts to do what he does.   Not only is he a brain surgeon, he works in pediatrics.  I don’t think there is a tougher job out there!

One last doctor I want to mention, whom we were fortunate to have taking care of our son.  Dr. Moneeb Ehtesham, hands down, deserves some type of medical field Oscar.   I can not tell you how much this Doctor means to our family.  He took it personally from the first time he met our son to when our son took a turn for the worse.   This guy needs to be on a pedestal for other residents to follow his foot steps.