Surgeon rides child's bike to get through traffic nightmare for surgery

Published: Aug. 22, 2012 at 7:45 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2012 at 5:11 AM CDT
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Source: BRASS Surgery Center
Source: BRASS Surgery Center
Source: BRASS Surgery Center
Source: BRASS Surgery Center

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge surgeon, Catherine Baucom, MD of Elliot Mastology Center, was on her way to surgery at BRASS Surgery Center Wednesday morning when she found herself caught in the traffic caused by the accident that shutdown Interstate 10 early Wednesday morning.

According to officials at BRASS Surgery Center, Dr. Baucom tried to navigate the gridlock to no avail, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Dr. Baucom remembered a friend that lived a few blocks from her position in the mayhem and made her way to his house.

"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."

He gladly loaned her his seven year old daughter's bike and helmet and the nearly six foot tall surgeon resumed her journey to the surgery center.

"It was hot pink and small," Dr. Baucom said, describing the bike.  "The helmet was pink with princesses."  He added he was laughing so much he couldn't get video of her before she peddled away.  "But she did utilize the plastic basket on front, to put her cell phone in.  Showed her experience with the bike."

She says she traveled down Tara Boulevard, onto Fairway Drive, crossed Jefferson Highway and over to Essen Lane.  When she reached I10, she was stopped by police.  After explaining the circumstances and where she was headed, she was escorted through to meet her patient.

"They said we can escort you and he 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."

Her patient and the staff of BRASS are grateful and amazed, but not surprised, by her dedication to patient care and service excellence.

"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," she said.

Dr. Baucom is also a cyclist - just usually on a bike that fits her adult frame.  Dr. Barnett's children did give the princess helmet to Dr. Baucom as a present.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.