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Daughter wants to follow in NICU Mother's footsteps

NICU Resident Nurse and Daughter
Posted at 2:30 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 19:22:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Our medical providers make a difference every day, but a mother-daughter duo takes the idea of paying it forward to a whole different level.

While masked up inside Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, Jessica Dierckman spends her workday with co-workers she loves.

For twelve years now, she’s met the family and extended family of the littlest patients she takes care of.

She’s ‘the favorite’ Resident Nurse in the NICU, which is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Jessica’s emotions resonate because she too came here as a parent with her daughter, Jordann Kilbride, who was born prematurely about fourteen years ago.

"She was twenty-five weeks, five days gestation [and weighed] two pounds, seven ounces," Dierckman said.

At the time, Dierckman attended accelerated nursing school.

“So they gave me extra TLC. They taught me a whole lot when she was here, and I was like ‘wow,’ I think I really like this,” said Dierckman.

It was her first heart racing experience in the NICU.

“You don’t think you’re going to make it and then they make it. They leave, they get discharged, they go home," Dierckman said.

It takes her breath away knowing the NICU team took care of her baby 24/7, while her daughter was a preemie.

"I don’t know if I could’ve made it through that difficult nursing school had she not had the care,” Dierckman said.

It changed Jessica’s life, giving her a passion to support the parents of her preemie patients.

Now a healthy teenager, Kilbride returned to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

"It makes me happy to see them because they were the ones who took care of me, helped save my life,” said Kilbride.

Kilbride has her own passion for paying it forward. In the future, she wants to be like her mom, going into nursing and focusing on either the NICU or pediatrics.

"I love babies," she said.

Like mother like daughter, it’s a love of helping babies bonding them in more way than one.

It may be years down the line, but it’s the cycle of a mother and medical worker’s love that continues for generations to come.

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital holds reunions for former NICU babies and their families. Dierckman and Kilbride continue to go to those and meet others who’ve grown up healthy after being born early.

To help parents of preemie babies, Ascension St. Vincent has a webcam so parents can watch their child at any time when they’re away.

RELATED: Indiana family creates 31 Halloween costumes for NICU daughter

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