Pediatric ICU Nurse, advocate for children with autism, honored with February DAISY Award

A little understanding can go a long way, especially when caring for Patients with special needs.

Kellye Youngs, RN, makes sure fellow Caregivers have the resources needed to provide quality compassionate care to children with autism. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse has a very personal connection. Her son Sebastian is autistic.

“It started with simple tips like using a soft voice, things I knew worked with my son,” Youngs said. “We almost immediately saw results with Patients and it evolved from there.”

Youngs has been presented with the DAISY Award to honor her actions, going above and beyond to put the needs of her young Patients first. She was nominated by fellow Caregiver Alicia Flores, RN.

“She recognized a need for education of care,” said Flores. “Kellye is even developing an autism care cart, which has tools and resources for us to use with our youngest Patients. She has contributed immensely to the Sparrow Children’s Center.”

Autism care cart​

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, and the DAISY Award is a national program created in memory of J. Patrick Barnes died in 1999 of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, or ITP at 33 years old. His family was overwhelmed by the skillful and amazingly compassionate Nurses that cared for Pat, and the DAISY Foundation and Award were created as an expression of their gratitude.

The DAISY Award is a way to recognize and make visible the contribution and value of Nurses wherever nursing is practiced.

Youngs received a certificate, a DAISY pin to wear at work and beautiful serpentine stone sculpture carved by the artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. The sculpture depicts the embracing relationship Nurses have with their Patients.