March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards for 2014

On Wednesday evening, November 19, Madge Wedderburn, RN was honored by the March of Dimes as a finalist in their annual Nurse of the Year award. Along with her patient, her family, and many colleagues from Newborn Nurses, Madge attended the awards dinner in Edison, New Jersey for the awards ceremony. As an employee of Newborn Nurses, Madge has worked with one patient for 10 years. As his primary nurse, she has been steadfast in providing skilled nursing care and creating an opportunity for him to have the best quality of life possible.

Through the Nurse of the Year Awards, the March of Dimes recognizes nurses who demonstrate outstanding patient care, compassion, and service and celebrates the nursing profession. These exceptional nurses fall into many categories such as health care providers, educators and researchers to chapter volunteers and advisors. They have all contributed to improving the health of New Jersey’s mothers and babies.

The group was extremely happy and proud to celebrate the nomination of Newborn Nurses own Madge Wedderburn. “Madge is a true example of what a Champion of Caring is and is an inspiration to all of us at The NBN Group” Said Linda Begley, the President of The NBN Group and Newborn Nurses.

In a letter to The March of Dimes nominating Madge, Diane Grasso, the mother of our patient Nicholas described the care that Madge has administered during the past ten years. “She is his advocate, his best friend and pal, his second mother. Basically, she is his guardian angel come to life” Taken from Diane’s letter.



The following is Diane’s letter:

July 2014 Parents Testimonial for March of Dimes Nurse of the Year

For the past 10 years we have been blessed to have Madge Wedderburn as Nicholas’ private duty nurse; she is extremely knowledgeable, very reliable and completely committed to my son’s well-being. Nick has a very complex medical background and Madge’s highly experienced nursing skills have dramatically improved his overall health.  She begins each shift in prayer and then starts her head to toe assessment in a very pleasant way. She’s usually singing songs, making up crazy stories, or telling jokes just to keep him relaxed and entertained.  All throughout the shift she’s very diligent about administering his medications and treatments. She’s constantly assessing him, always repositioning him, feeding him safely, doing range of motion – all in a fun way to keep him involved and stimulated. She works tirelessly at finding activities that he is able to do and patiently encourages him to communicate and to move. Whenever the smallest opportunity arrives she’ll praise him and proudly say “That’s my boy!”  As the shift ends, Madge hugs and kisses him goodbye, tells him she loves him and then says another prayer with him for a safe night.  She’ll always say, “Call me if you need me. I’m only a phone call away.

When medical issues do come up, she communicates it to us in a calm fashion so as not to alarm or frighten us. On numerous occasions, Madge has accompanied us to doctors’ appointments and trips to the hospital far beyond her shift.  For example, one Thanksgiving she spent at CHOP with Nick instead of making dinner for her family at home.  Two days later, after his surgery and when she was certain he was safe and in good hands – she finally went home.  There are many more stories I can recount where Madge has put Nick’s health before anything else.  This past May Nick had dental surgery at CHOP.  There were complications after the surgery and he didn’t get out of the hospital until 8PM.  When we got home she insisted on getting him in bed before she left. She finished around 10:30PM – her shift ended at 6:30PM.  I could go on and on with examples.    

 She practices “preventative medicine” and everyone that works with Nick knows that they better practice it as well.  In fact, she’s been known to ask doctors, nurses and therapists to wash their hands (of course in a non-threatening, gentle way so as not to insult them). His school therapists all know that trays, mats, games, etc. all better be “properly washed down” before they are used with Nick. Madge devotes a lot of time to searching ways to improve Nick’s quality of life. Just last week after we started him on a gluten free diet, she walked in the door with gluten free cookies and crackers. Things like that commonly occur from her – from skin lotion to foods, Madge is always bringing things to Nick.

 She’s constantly coming up with new plans to wean him off of some medication, or ways to correct a medical problem, or ways to make him more comfortable and aligned. She’ll exhaust all natural methods of treating acute situations before administering PRN medications to avoid their side effects. Nick has very high tone and is stiff most of the time and that makes even simple tasks very difficult.  Far too often, I’ve watched her walk out of our house bent over because she over-extended her body to care for Nick.  She’ll do whatever it takes to keep him safe and out of pain no matter what the cost is to her own body.  No demand is too impossible for her.

Madge goes far beyond her nursing role with Nick.  She is his advocate, his best friend and pal, his second mother.  Basically, she is his guardian angel come to life. For these reasons and many, many more, Madge should be the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year.