Joan Paulson came into the hospital after being injured in the tunnel collapse.



Joan went on a date with Keith Gardner. On the first date, they had sex and Joan got pregnant. They decided to stay together and get to know each other because of the baby coming.

Joan went into labor one morning. The doctor said she could wait, but she insisted that Keith take her to the hospital right away. He wanted to take the bridge, but she insisted on the tunnel, because it's faster.

Tunnel CollapseEdit

While they were driving through the tunnel, it collapsed, injuring both of them and trapping them in a car. The rescue workers were able to get Joan out and to the hospital, but Keith remained trapped.

Andrew DeLuca, on his way to his first day of work as an intern, came upon the scene and stopped to help. He rode in the rig with Joan, reducing her arm and using his tie to splint it. Once they arrived at the hospital, they put a fetal monitor on Joan and paged Arizona and Callie. Films revealed that Joan's neck was fractured, but not dislocated. Since it was stable, Callie said fixing it could wait until after she delivered. Arizona said that Joan was only at 3 centimeters dilated and to page when she was closer.

The interns later prepared Joan for surgery while discussing Keith and how they believed he'd been left because there was nothing they could do, not knowing that Joan and Keith were engaged. Joan started to panic and said she couldn't breathe, so Mitchell Spencer, believing it was the collar, loosened it a little. Stephanie stepped in the room just in time to see him do that and to hear Joan's neck crack when it dislocated. Joan said there were shocks running through her body, so Stephanie raced to stabilize her neck and had Callie and Arizona paged. The baby was in distress, so they slowly and carefully started to move Joan for delivery. While they were in an elevator, Joan started to regain feeling in her body. Then she had a contraction and was warned that even though it hurt, they needed her not to move. She started bleeding and Arizona checked and saw that she was crowning, so they prepared for delivery in the elevator. Joan and Keith's son was quickly delivered. Joan lamented that Keith was supposed to be there to cut the cord and hear the first cry as Arizona put the baby on her chest. ("Time Stops")


Soon after her son's birth, she started having unusual bleeding, so her baby was taken to the NICU to be monitored while she was rushed into surgery. Arizona diagnosed Uterine Atony and placed a balloon catheter to stop the bleeding while Callie and Amelia worked on her neck. Both procedures were successful and she was awake after surgery and not paralyzed, though she had weakness on her right side.

Later, while checking on Joan despite having been removed from the case, Stephanie saw that Joan was having trouble breathing. She opened her collar and saw bleeding in her neck, so she opened her up bedside to do what she could before Joan was taken back into surgery. They were able to stop the bleeding from the pseudoaneurysm and Joan was awake after surgery and expected to make a full recovery. ("You're My Home")



Joan is engaged to Keith Gardner. The relationship probably would not have lasted, but Joan got pregnant on the first date, so they stuck it out and they planned to get married the week after the baby was born. They spent the pregnancy getting to know one another.


Joan has one son with Keith, who was born in an elevator.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • She was 34 at the time of her son's birth.
  • She wears socks to bed.
  • She likes techno music.
  • She and Keith both like watching tennis, but not playing it.
  • Joan is the first character to give birth in the elevator.




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