BALTIMORE, May 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State and federal dignitaries, civic leaders, and representatives of the State of Maryland's one-of-a-kind Emergency Medical Services System gathered to celebrate the safety net that all Marylanders hope they never need. Once a year this special family— police, fire, emergency medical personnel, helicopter pilots, Shock Trauma physicians, nurses, and hospital staff—all come together to pay tribute to the highly coordinated system that enables all Marylanders who suffer a sudden critical illness or injury a second chance at life.
The heroes of one dramatic patient story were unveiled during tonight's program, and more than 50 people involved in this particular case received a special Shock Trauma Hero Award. More than 1,500 people gathered tonight at the Baltimore Convention Center to hear the story of Andy Green's dramatic survival from a devastating motor vehicle crash in Carroll County, Md. on February 1, 2011.
An accident on icy roads left Andy Green trapped in his work van after a collision with another truck. At first rescue workers thought he was dead, but then Andy moved his hand, and the race was on to extricate him from the tangled wreck. Nearly two hours later after a difficult extrication and a treacherous trip by ambulance because the helicopters were grounded by weather, Andy arrived at Shock Trauma with injuries head to toe--including an open skull wound, internal injuries and massive lower extremity trauma.
"Tonight we told one story and thanked 50 individuals involved in the case, but these heroes represent the over 8,500 patients we cared for this year, and the hundreds of providers across the state who dedicate their lives to saving Maryland's most critically ill and injured people each day," said Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., Francis X. Kelly Professor of Trauma Surgery, director, Program in Trauma, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and physician-in-chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center is a worldwide leader in trauma care, and the heart of Maryland's unique Emergency Medical Services System. The first trauma center of its kind in the U.S., the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center is today an international model for civilian and military teams.
Also on hand tonight to recognize Shock Trauma's contribution to medical care and training of the nation's armed forces was Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas Travis. The audience heard the inspiring story of veteran Adam Keys, who was a specialist on patrol with his unit in Afghanistan in 2010 searching for improvised explosive devices (IEDs). When an IED exploded under their military vehicle, all of his companions were killed. Adam was gravely injured with a head injury and severe trauma to both legs and one arm. He was first transported to the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, then to the Walter Reed U.S. Military Medical Center in Maryland, where he was awarded a Purple Heart and promoted to Corporal in March 2011, then to Sergeant in April of 2012.
With grave injuries, a raging infection, and limited hope for survival, physicians at Walter Reed turned to Shock Trauma for additional insights on what could be done to save Adam's life. Adam arrived at Shock Trauma on August 5, 2010. Following almost 30 operative procedures, including amputations of both legs and part of his arm and a valiant fight by the dedicated medical team at Shock Trauma, Adam is thriving today and serves as an inspiration to all who meet him. He also exemplifies the expertise and dedication of the team at Shock Trauma, who are proud to collaborate with the U.S. military in a number of programs to benefit soldiers and the medical teams who care for them.