Last November, trauma nurse Gina Solomon decided a dying 4-month-old and his parents needed a chance for final goodbyes.
Mom, Dad, baby and the couple’s two other children had all been injured in a horrific car crash.
The parents landed at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, and their children were sent 35 miles away for trauma care at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston Hospital.
Mom was in surgery at GMC when Gina took the call from a fellow trauma nurse at Egleston that the tiny boy was not going to survive his injuries.
After placing lots of phone calls and with the blessings of her bosses at Gwinnett Medical Center, Gina set out to reunite Mom, Dad and baby.
The parents were taken by ambulance to Egleston, and Gina rode along to monitor their conditions and tend to their medical needs.
“My background is as an ICU nurse, so I certainly felt I could take care of them while they were out of the hospital,” Gina said.
The ambulance service even waived its standard transport fee on learning of the circumstances.
At Egleston, Mom who was on a stretcher and Dad who was in a wheelchair were able to hold their baby for the last time. Dad, who is a minister, also was able to pray over another of the couple’s children who would be facing surgery the next day without either parent at her side.
Mom does not speak English, and Dad only speaks a little. But everyone who saw Dad rise from his wheelchair, put his hand on his daughter’s head and pray was moved.
“You could hear a pin drop,” Gina said.
Janet Schwalbe, administrative officer for Gwinnett Medical’s trauma program and Gina’s supervisor, said that, in her 40 years of nursing, she’s never seen a circumstance where a patient was taken to another hospital to see a patient, critical or not.
But Gina, a 25-year nurse and mother herself, did what she would want someone to do for her in similar circumstances.
“She has always used her own moral compass to ensure that she treats others as she would want herself or her family to be treated,” Janet said.
Before the three left for Egleston, Gina stopped in the medical center’s chapel.
“I had to say: ‘Lord, you are going to have to give me the strength to be able to be there for this mom and dad,” she said.
The trip was emotionally draining for all, including Gina.
“It was just the right thing to do,” she said. “I’d do it all over again in a minute.”
The 4-month-old lived a couple days beyond his parent’s visit.
His mother was still in Gwinnett Medical Center recovering from her injuries and surgery. But Dad was out of the hospital and at Egleston with the baby when he died.