‘Why I do what I do’
Wolfson Children’s echocardiography technologist inspired by all the teams it takes to save one little heart.
Juice Staff Published: 4/24/2020
Our guest columnist is Echocardiography Technologist Ruby Lara, RCDS, FASE, supervisor of Pediatric Cardiology at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
As I walked into work today at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, I passed security and nurses who were manning our doors and I silently prayed to protect them and all of us. We are mentally and physically exhausted. We are missing our family and friends dearly as we follow the rules of social distancing. We are overwhelmed and saddened when we sit and watch the news and see the numbers. We are frightened and scared that we could bring this home to our families. Yet we all entered this field because of the inner urge to care for people and we return to work every day with no regrets. My experience yesterday was a prime example of why we do what we do.
Within the walls of our children’s hospital, we have specialists from a number of different healthcare institutions who come together to care of our children. Yesterday was a GREAT example of the patients who inspire our teamwork.
The whole team knew what would happen that day. A baby was scheduled to be born with complex congenital heart disease and was going to need our help immediately. We had meticulously prepared for this day and had discussed, in great detail, who would be there, what their role was, and where they were going to be when needed. The baby was delivered by C-section in our cardiovascular surgical suite at Wolfson Children’s Hospital while a large team anxiously waited in the adjacent OR suite. Babies being born at Wolfson Children’s Hospital is not the usual; they’re usually born in Labor & Delivery at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. This baby was special because of the complexity of the child’s heart condition and the need for immediate care, with not a minute to spare for a transfer from L&D to Wolfson Children’s. The teams consisted of:
- UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville pediatric cardiologists and nurses
- UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville neonatologists
- UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons
- Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists
- Pediatric nurses, radiologic technologists, cath technologists, respiratory therapists, surgical technologists, echocardiogram technologists and a perfusionist
- Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville obstetrician and Labor & Delivery team
The word was given that the incision had been made and the baby should be here within minutes. Then the words rang out, “Baby is born.” The room fell silent as everyone mentally prepared and reviewed the role they were about to play.
The baby was rushed into the silent OR room and then let out a whimper and then began to cry. It was the most wonderful sound that our ears could hear. The room erupted into activity as the teams feverishly worked together to save this little life. We forgot the chaos, the anxiety, the fear, the pandemic that was happening in the world around us. Our only focus was on this one little life and doing everything we could to save this critically ill baby.
This little one is recovering and was cared for by our AMAZING staff in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. I can only imagine the story these parents will be able to tell about how their precious baby brought a huge team together and allowed them to forget the chaos and anxiety for a brief moment. This is why I do what I do. For that I am eternally grateful! Stay safe, everyone!