Trish Wilson, RN

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AJC Celebrating Nurses: Trish Wilson

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite

After a 25-week pregnancy , an emergency C-section found Amber Paterson giving birth to tiny Everly in March of last year. At just 1 pound 12 ounces, Everly’s odds for survival looked grim. Yet the Patersons had an advocate in their corner who would rally them through the entire ordeal: Trish Wilson, a NICU nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

Approximately one month after Everly’s birth at Northside Forsyth and a stint in that hospital’s NICU, the baby was transferred to the NICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Soon the baby’s medical team found a blockage in Everly’s intestines, which required emergency surgery.

“We remember that evening vividly because that was the day our world fell apart,” Scott Paterson wrote in his Celebrating Nurses nomination letter.

The blockage at the start of Everly’s large intestine meant she might have cystic fibrosis. However, that same night the Patersons met Trish Wilson, who began putting their world back together.

According to Paterson, Wilson remained at Everly’s side after the surgery, fighting to keep the infant breathing as the child was going into shock. Everly survived, and within a week she stabilized.

“From then on I decided I was going to stick with this kid while she was there,” Wilson said.

Wilson signed on to be the infant’s primary nurse at night, a first for the young RN. For the next several months, she advocated for Everly as the diminutive infant kept repeatedly beating the odds and conquering obstacles.

“She loved our daughter as if she was her own,” Paterson wrote. “She provided care for her as if her own life depended on it. She supported us, and more importantly challenged my wife and I to fight harder, in a way that you would expect family to do.”

After Everly’s 10-month hospital stay and fight for survival, an array of doctors and specialists have been overwhelmed by the child’s recovery and good health.

“Amber and I both know to whom we owe everything, from the fateful night after Everly’s first surgery though every unprecedented event thereafter,” Paterson wrote, “that has been a constant presence aimed at helping Everly defy all the odds stacked against her: Trish Wilson.”

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