Somewhere out there, there’s a family that named their baby Anthony, because of the thoughtfulness of one man: Einstein security services officer Anthony Lucas.
Tall and solidly built, his blue uniform shirt and slacks always perfectly pressed, a walkie-talkie and a ring of keys affixed to his broad leather belt, Lucas always has a warm smile and words of welcome as he opens the door for employees and visitors at Einstein’s Plaza Olney building. “I feel like everyone who comes through could be my family,” Lucas says, “so I treat them like that.”
A few years ago, when Lucas was assigned to Labor and Delivery, his kind, generous nature yielded an entirely unexpected result with one family in particular. One day, a woman seven months pregnant arrived for an office visit, after having been dropped off by a family member. “I buzzed her in, and we got to talking. She had come on time, but there was some kind of emergency. After a while, she still hadn’t been seen, and it was obvious she was hungry, so I reached down into my pocket and gave her whatever change I had, and she got something to eat.”
Eventually, the young mother-to-be was seen by her doctor, and Lucas didn’t meet her again after that until six months later. “She was with her husband and her mother, pushing the baby in a carriage. That’s when she told me the news that she’d named the baby after me. I’ll never forget it.”
That incident is proof, Lucas says, that around Einstein—especially in his line of work—there is never a dull day.
By anyone’s standards of what constitutes an interesting day on the job, one other incredible encounter stands out in Lucas’s memory. It was when he made a real family connection.
On that day, Lucas was on duty in the emergency department. “They called her name over the intercom: Kathy Lucas. She walked past me, and we just started messing around. I was just joking with her. She said ‘You could be my long-lost brother.’ I said, ‘Well, if I’m your brother, what’s your dad’s name?’" She mentioned her father’s name—and it was Lucas’s father’s name, too.
“How many people would know that?” Lucas recalls. “I looked at her and she looked at me, and she just started crying. She said to me, ‘You look just like daddy.’” Lucas’s father had left his mother when he was young, and remarried. Sure enough, they were related: Kathy was Lucas’s half-sister, a product of their father's first marriage.
None of Lucas’s Einstein memories would have happened at all—were it not for yet another chance encounter. Before he came to work for Einstein, Lucas was a doorman at the building where Einstein President and CEO Barry R. Freedman lived. Lucas asked him if there were any jobs to be had at Einstein. “He gave me his card,” he smiles, “and the rest is history. You could say I came in through the top.”
Once employed, Lucas has given every day his all. He’s had his challenges—not every patient is, well, patient—but his mild-mannered temperament wins the day more often than not. “I feel for people. I’m a people person,” Lucas says. “I do my best to help them.”