Leslie De Herde

Leslie De Herde, RN, CEN

Morristown Medical Center
Morristown, New Jersey
United States

Leslie De Herde, RN was working in her assigned area when a staff member summoned her that a newly arrived patient needed assistance. She left her assignment and went to the newly arrived patient. There was a newly born infant, freshly brought into this world delivered by a young woman alone, having driven herself to the hospital.
Leslie quickly took charge of the mother and baby and assured safe transport to the nursery and post partum unit. She moved the baby into a warmer climate, assessed the mother, covered in blood and obtained a stretcher for her. Leslie began interviewing the mother about calling a family member and received this reply, “There is no one”. Here was a young mother with no resources and no support system that she thought could help her.
Leslie left this young mother, feeling the sadness of this situation, being near Christmas. The next day she went back to visit the mother and began asking additional questions. Upon further discussion, Leslie discovered that the mother had a sister with her own family in the area, but that the two siblings were estranged. The new mother felt she would not be able to help and would not be interested in her newly arrived nephew. Leslie pushed a little harder, “You might be surprised”, she said.
The next day, Leslie went to visit one more time. She asked if there were anything she could do for her. She discovered that she did not have a car seat for the infant. At this point, the new mother stated that her sister was going to help her out. Again the story does not stop here. Leslie took it upon herself to collect funds and gifts needed to care for a new baby from her peers. For Christmas, the nurse sent the gifts and monies for the new family to enjoy that first Christmas together.
A thank you note with a picture of a new baby boy is Leslie’s memory. Words inside from a grateful mother stating, “You saved us both”. When thanking her for the baby gifts and the gift card, she also wrote, “It was greatly appreciated and much more than you ever needed to do. You reminded me that there are good people. I am honored that you were the first person to meet my son. Your are an angel.”