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Last patient moved: ‘Oh my God, it’s a done deal’

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Updated: July 11, 2012 10:36AM

Mary Gomez is one of the first faces 126 patients saw when arriving at Lurie on Saturday.

She’s been in hairy situations transporting critically injured children and babies on helicopters, fixed wing planes and ambulances for more than 25 years. On Saturday, the nurse practitioner and unit leader of the transport team made sure all patients made the transfer in safely.

None was diverted to the emergency room from the move. She calls it a success.

The last patient arrived just before 8 p.m.

“Oh my God, it’s a done deal,” Gomez said after the last patient arrived. “It’s exhilarating, and exhausting but we’re all really happy here. . . . We really saw some really sick kids today and I’m very grateful everything worked out.”

On an average day, Gomez helps transport five or six children.

“Well, this is historic,” said Gomez, of Glenview. “I have never ever processed 126 patients in one day.”

Gomez, 51, says her career has seen its hard days but Saturday was a reflective day: “Today to me has been a culmination of looking at a career and looking at why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Gomez said. “And I’m just very proud at how everyone made this happen.”

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