Lisa Slate
October 2018
University of Virginia Health System
United States




As she left the hospital and began walking to her car after a long and busy shift, a car sped by her and screeched to a halt at the visitor entrance to the ED. In a blur, as they passed, she saw a pregnant belly and a panicked driver. Lisa looked back to make sure someone was helping them and saw a man in uniform heading quickly towards the car with a wheelchair, so she continued walking. Sensing something wasn't right, she looked back again from the end of the block and saw the passenger door open with an empty wheelchair nearby and the panicked driver standing there alone, the uniformed man nowhere in sight (turned out he had gone for help).
Lisa headed back to see if she could help. As she walked up to the car, she could see the driver was even more panicked, and she peeked into the passenger seat to find a crying, scared mama and her tiny baby that had just been born in the past minute in the car, umbilical cord still attached and placenta undelivered. While waiting for the ED staff to arrive, Lisa was able to get the baby crying and pink, get it wrapped in a dry blanket, massaged the mama's uterus, and explained to the parents in Spanish that everything was fine (Lisa speaks fluent Spanish) because they didn't speak any English. Once the ED staff took the baby and mother into the ED, Lisa interpreted for father as they explained to him how the valet process worked, and she accompanied the father into the ED to register. Early in Lisa's career, she worked in the Newborn Nursery and Postpartum at Martha Jefferson Hospital. She was perfectly suited to shine in this situation and did so with poise and confidence.
Lisa is fairly new to radiology, she was a new hire this year. I was her preceptor on several occasions, and a running joke between us was of "the black cloud" that hung over her head. Unexpected patient problems that were always good learning situations.
Her black cloud had a silver lining for a Hispanic couple that she unexpectantly crossed paths with on an evening as she was walking home after her shift in RADU.
As she was passing the entrance to the ER, she saw a car in a hurry and noticed that one of its occupants was pregnant. After she walked past the car, she turned back to see the driver getting a wheelchair. Something did not feel right to her, so when she looked back again and saw no driver and a still empty wheelchair, she went toward the car to see if she could help. She found a newborn baby, pale, still attached to the umbilical cord. Lucky for this couple, Lisa is fluent in Spanish and was a former Labor and Delivery nurse! She got the baby pinked up and crying and wrapped in a blanket and waited with the family for the ER staff to arrive, translating and reassuring them in Spanish. How awesome is this? So glad to have Lisa as part of our team.