R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Gala Honors State Emergency and Trauma Medical Professionals “Powered by Passion”
Heroic Efforts, Medical Excellence and Extraordinary Journeys of Survival and Healing Highlighted at Annual Event to Honor Heroes
Baltimore — Nearly 150 first responders and top trauma medicine professionals who saved four patients from harrowing, life-threatening situations were honored tonight at the 29th Annual R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Gala at the Baltimore Convention Center. The annual event, which hosted 1,500 attendees, honors the State’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and trauma medicine professionals who represent Maryland’s unique, highly coordinated trauma system in saving the lives of the most critically injured.
“It’s a privilege to care for patients when life is on the line,” says Thomas M. Scalea, MD, the Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland. “The incredible stories of survival and recovery that we shared this evening would not have been possible without the seamless care of the prehospital providers, nurses, physicians and rehabilitation specialists — who together make up Maryland’s trauma system, the most sophisticated system of care in the United States.”
“Tonight we celebrate the support of our generous donors who have committed to raising critical funds to support Shock Trauma’s mission,” says Senator Francis X. Kelly, chairman, Shock Trauma Board of Visitors. “I encourage others who believe in this institution to pledge to also demonstrate their passion for our unique system of care.”
Those in attendance heard the remarkable stories of rescue, survival and recovery of three victims of the unprecedented Interstate-95 ice storm vehicle pile-up in December 2016, and a life-threatening hunting accident in a remote wooded area on the Eastern Shore.
Annual family hunting event turns tragic Thanksgiving weekend
On November 26, 2016, Scott Carroll found himself in isolated woods on the Eastern Shore bleeding to death from an accidental gunshot wound sustained while hunting. His “golden hour” was slipping away quickly as he fought to save his own life.
Earlier that morning, he and his brother, along with several others, set out on their annual hunting trip on the first day of deer hunting season. Just hours later, while alone in a remote area, Carroll slipped and was quickly sinking knee-deep into mud when his gun accidentally discharged, critically injuring him in the lower leg.
“When the gun rolled around my body, I heard the click, click and knew what was about to happen,” he said. “It was extremely painful and emotional – everything goes through your mind – kids...” said an emotional Carroll.
Carroll immediately knew that he could not panic. His handmade tourniquet – made from his vest – kept him alive while Cecilton Volunteer Fire Company and Cecil County EMS searched the miles of swampy and wooded terrain by air and ground looking for him.
But time was running out. The 911 dispatcher kept Carroll awake, reassuring him that help was on the way. Through an intense and expertly coordinated team effort – which included rescuers also getting caught in mud and sinking to their knees – Carroll was found in the nick of time. He was evacuated from the area by helicopter and flown to Shock Trauma.
“You hear of Shock Trauma from television, but I didn’t realize the extent of it until I experienced it,” Carroll says now, 18 months later and back to work for a year. “It’s a different ballgame. You have a lot more respect for what people do after something like this happens to you.”
An ice storm changes three lives forever
When an unexpected winter storm coated Baltimore in ice during the early morning hours of December 17, 2016, three travelers on I-95 were faced with the unforeseen circumstances of an historic 67-vehicle pile-up that set the highway on fire and endangered the lives of many people passing through the region.
“They were in the middle of an ice storm and the road was on fire – but they got them here. It’s a huge multi-agency effort,” said Scalea. “It’s why we are here and we are happy to do it. It’s what we do and we do it really well.”
Darryl Brown, 52, cautiously headed to his job as a truck driver, intending to finish his shift early so that he could take his grandchildren to see Santa Claus later that day.
But that never happened. Brown’s truck slid across the ice-slicked road and slammed into the jersey wall. When he got out of the cab to check the scene, his truck was hit by another, fishtailed and knocked him over the wall, where he fell 40 feet. Brown found himself lying in the dark, his right side numb and unable to move. He was quickly losing hope of anyone finding him.
But Brown was found, and taken to Shock Trauma with a multitude of life-threatening injuries. His heart stopped twice, and he was resuscitated. His road home would be a long and complex journey that would include infection, organ failure and many surgeries.
“I thought I was going to die of complications, but they talked me off the ledge so many times,” says Brown 18 months after the accident. “That’s the stuff that people don’t know that they do. They’re great comforters. They’re great motivators. They give you that push to go on and that will to survive and overcome.”
During the same ice storm, Barrin Davis and his wife Jesseca, 7 months pregnant, were headed to their baby shower and Christmas holiday in New Jersey, when their car also slid out of control and became wedged between two tractor-trailers. Jesseca was hoisted from the car and quickly transported to Shock Trauma. But Barrin remained trapped with no feeling in his legs. He was eventually rescued by the Go Team – a special Shock Trauma unit comprised of an orthopedic surgeon and trauma nurse to assist in complex, prolonged extractions of trapped patients. Barrin also was brought to Shock Trauma with critical injuries.
Barrin and Jesseca – but thankfully not their unborn daughter – had both suffered serious internal injuries sending them into multiple surgeries. - one actually requiring the temporary removal of Jesseca’s uterus so that her bleeding spleen could be removed. Her uterus was then put back in place, baby intact.
While his deployment to Afghanistan would be put on hold, Barrin and Jesseca were transferred to Walter Reed Military Medical Hospital to continue their recovery and ultimately deliver a heathy, beautiful baby girl.
“My biggest fear was for my wife and daughter. Someday we will tell our daughter about the ice storm and the heroes who pulled her mommy and daddy from the wreckage and saved all of our lives,” says Barrin.
Supporting the Center for Performance Innovation and Outcomes Management
Proceeds from the gala support Shock Trauma’s new Center for Performance Innovation and Outcomes Management, which will provide Shock Trauma with a tremendous opportunity to further influence the future of trauma medicine on a global scale. This innovative data repository that tracks patient demographics, types of injuries and illnesses, recovery timelines, and patient outcomes will provide the trauma teams a better understanding of the long-term effects and functional outcomes of critical injury or serious illness. To learn how you can support the mission of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, visit http://www.ummsfoundation.org/site/PageNavigator/stc.html.
About the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland was the first fully integrated trauma center in the world, and remains at the epicenter for trauma research, patient care, and teaching, both nationally and internationally today. Shock Trauma is where the “golden hour” concept of trauma was born and where many of the life-saving practices in modern trauma medicine were pioneered. Shock Trauma is also at the heart of Maryland’s unparalleled Emergency Medical Service System. Learn more at www.umm.edu/shocktrauma.
About the University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital — the flagship institution of the 14-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) — and a 200-bed community teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus. UMMC is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women's and children's health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At UMMC Midtown Campus, faculty physicians work alongside community physicians to provide patients with the highest quality care. UMMC Midtown Campus was founded in 1881 and is located one mile away from the University Campus hospital. For more information, visit www.umm.edu.