Every now and then you hear an amazing story of a surgeon who went the extra mile to get to the operating room in time for a needy patient, like packing their whole family into the car on very little notice so that they could use the carpool lane. Last week, a tanker truck full of isobutane fuel gas was rear-ended and sprung a leak near Baton Rouge and the ensuing efforts to drain the gas to a new tanker, and to keep drivers safe from the very possible explosion and fire, gridlocked traffic around the closed road and surrounding area. Breast cancer surgeon Catherine Baucom was one of those stuck in the jam, on her way to the operating room, but so far as we know, she was the only person to find a solution to the slow down so close to our interests.
Baucom happened to realize that she was close to the home of another doctor and friend, Brian Barnett. From Baton Rouge local news:
“Catherine called, she was outside my house. She said ‘Hey do you have a bike?’ I walked outside and said yea, its a kids bike,” said Dr. Brian Barnett. After a quick test run, Dr. Baucom decided the bike was her only choice to get to the hospital. “I got the air pump out and aired the tires up as much as I could.”
Baucom is a habitual cyclist, and so naturally her next request was for a helmet (a woman after my own mother’s heart). Barnett had only one that fit properly, and so Baucom set off: on a bright pink child-sized Schwinn with a basket on the front, and a bright pink helmet emblazoned with Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Belle. The basket, according to Barnett, was useful for stowing her cellphone. Police observed the six foot-surgeon, knees knocking against the handlebars with each pedal, a few miles down the road, passing the cars on the road beside her.
“They said we can escort you and [the policeman] essentially drove past me and then he turned around and was videotaping me,” Dr. Baucom said. “I did tell him I didn’t know if he could keep up with me.”
Come on guys… you couldn’t give her a ride?
Baucom said her motivation for getting there was all about her patients: “A lot of our patients are women and they come in from out of town. They’re very nervous, for different reasons. So I felt like I needed to get there for them.”
So whip this story out the next time some kid you know complains about having a girl bike. I mean, it probably won’t stop them from complaining, but at least you’ll have a cool story.
(via Boing Boing.)