In 1999, at the age of 33, Patrick Barnes was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease ITP.

His family was fortunate to spend the eight weeks of Patrick’s hospitalisation with him. During those weeks, they experienced the best of nursing. While they expected great clinical care, they did not expect the incredible kindness and compassion shown to Patrick and them every day, even when Pat was completely sedated. It eased their minds, and the nurses' sensitivity to the situation made a great difference in the hospital experience. The nurses helped the family through the darkest hours of their lives with soft voices of comfort and strong, loving hugs.

After Pat passed, the Barnes family knew they wanted to honour him, to somehow turn their grief into something that would help fill the giant hole in their hearts that Patrick’s passing had left. The family kept coming back to conversations about his nurses, and that’s when they decided to say “Thank You” for the gifts nurses give their patients and families every day, just as they had experienced.

Pat’s wife, Tena, developed the acronym DAISY, which stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

The DAISY Award

The DAISY Award® (a non-profit initiative) for Extraordinary Nurses began at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at the University of Washington Medical Center, where Patrick had been a patient. It was the first programme of its kind to give patients, families, and co-workers a way to express their gratitude to nurses for what they became nurses to do - provide compassionate care to patients and their families.

Since then, The DAISY Award has become a strategic tool for nurse recruitment, retention, and resilience that has been adopted by thousands of healthcare organisations and schools of nursing in the U.S. and around the world.

Mediclinic’s nursing management are focused on fostering and maintaining high levels of care across all of our hospitals. This initiative therefore resonates with that message and it was felt it would be the most appropriate recognition tool for nurses within our organisation.