Gloria Cruzado wins DAISY Award for outstanding care

A pediatric intensive care unit nurse at Driscoll, Gloria Cruzado is a recent recipient of a DAISY Award, an award given to nurses around the country for going above and beyond.

Cruzado is humble. While honored, she says she was just doing her job. To her, that means being there for parents as much as patients.

Her patient, a newborn boy, arrived at Driscoll in December suffering from several pulmonary and cardiac issues.

“As newborn parents, the scariest thing you can hear from a doctor is, there's a chance your son won't make it, and we need to fly him to a special hospital,” the father said. “Trying to process that and being overwhelmed by all the tubes, hoses, medications, and machines connected to him, it felt like life was frozen and all we could do was listen to the beeps on the monitors, holding your breath whenever the alarms go off.”

For two days, Gloria Cruzado attended to the newborn and to the father. Throughout this time, mom recovered in a hospital outside Texas. It was a nerve-wracking time for the father, who thankfully, also had grandma and grandpa for support.

Cruzado recalled him barely getting any sleep, his eyes glued to the monitoring equipment and the numbers it produced.

“I told him, don’t look at the numbers, you want to look at the patient first,” Cruzado said, explaining to the father that even something as small as the baby moving could cause changes in vital signs.

It wasn’t until the second night at the hospital that dad finally got some sleep.

“I can remember feeling a warm calm as Gloria smiled and gave us updates during her first night with our son,” the father said. “She cared for the parents that night as much as our son as she patiently explained what all the vital numbers and lab results mean and made sure we were set up with access to see them ourselves.”

Cruzado said it’s all part of being a good nurse. It’s the simple things. Have you eaten? Have you gotten any sleep? Do you need help?

Cruzado has worked at Driscoll for a decade, beginning as a respiratory therapist. She said her mom has always asked her how she finds the strength to work at a children’s hospital.

“I tell her mom for those 12 hours, for those three or four days I’m there, those are my babies,” Cruzado said. “I’m going to take care of them like I would want my child, my grandkids, my family members to get taken care of.”

“And that’s what I call them, I call them my babies,” Cruzado said. “Hey, I’m going to the restroom. Can you watch my baby? Or you know, I’m going to lunch. Can you take care of my baby?”

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