Love, Skill and a “Christmas Miracle” Helped Save Baby’s Life at Rapides Regional Medical Center

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Woman wearing blue scrubs. Headshot of Shawn Moreau.

As a registered nurse and the emergency room director for Rapides Regional Medical Center, I’ve experienced my fair share of near catastrophes. Last Wednesday was no different. A nine-month old was rushed to our ER with a life-threatening condition. What I witnessed next was a mother’s love, a medical staff’s skill and a “Christmas Miracle.”

It was the usual, busy day in the ER. I was rounding with patients and staff when an announcement was made that a critical patient was en route and would arrive in five minutes. During that time, we learned a little boy was choking and the grandparents and mother were rushing the baby to our hospital. With few words, and concerned, but steady faces, my team readied the room with the necessary equipment.

We then stood at the ambulance bay…every second mattered. The sound of screeching tires approached and one of our nurses rushed to grab the baby. He was breathing, but barely. I gave the family my assurances the best team was working on the baby and would do everything to save him.

Back in the emergency room, our ER physician worked diligently to retrieve the object from the baby’s airway. It soon became clear that surgery – a last resort – was necessary.  I ran to the operating room to meet a surgeon and prep them on the case. That’s when I saw our chief of surgery and explained he was needed in the emergency room right away. He ran back with me; no questions asked.

Then the unexpected happened. With the team in place and inches away from operating, our ER doc tried once more to clear the baby’s airway. This time he was successful. The baby gasped for air and cried. There was not a dry eye in the room.

It’s moments like this, and countless others, I’m reminded why I chose this profession nearly 30 years ago. The calm under pressure, skills and determination to save a life of a child makes me proud to be a part of the fantastic team at Rapides Regional Medical Center.

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