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Research Medical Center Celebrates Thanksgiving with the Heartwarming Stories of Former Trauma Patients

Research Medical Center November 18, 2014

CEO Jackie DeSouza

Research Medical Center (RMC), part of HCA Midwest Health — Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider — will hold a Great Save Thanksgiving Celebration beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.  The event will be held in the Research Medical Center Brookside Campus Curry Auditorium at 6600 Rockhill Road in Kansas City, Mo. 

Attending the Great Save will be three former RMC trauma and emergency patients, the EMS crews who responded to them and physicians and nurses instrumental in their care and subsequent recovery. 

“This event is signficant because it emphasizes the robust collaboration our medical team has with First Responders in the community,” says Jackie DeSouza, Chief Executive Officer of Research Medical Center.  “Reuniting the patients with their caregivers underscores our mission to touch lives with hope, healing, comfort and care.” 

WHO: RMC doctors and staff will be reunited with three former trauma and emergency patients, and surprise them with First Responders who cared for them. 

WHEN:  Interviews with Jones, Lee and Matter, as well as physicians, First Responders and dignitaries, will be available on Wednesday, Nov. 19 following the Great Save Program at 10 a.m. 

Loraine Jones: When Jones, 43, arrived at Research Medical Center, she was desperately clinging to life after resuscitation from sudden cardiac death. Despite the severity of her condition, Jones regained consciousness in the ICU two weeks later and, after two surgeries and a total hospital stay of 23 days, she was strong enough to go home to the care of her mother. “I was nearly dead when they carried me in, but I walked out alive,” she says. “That speaks volumes about the fast, effective cardiac care they provide.”  Since leaving Research Medical Center, Jones has worn a LifeVest™, a portable defibrillator that continuously monitors the heart. If her heart stops again, the LifeVest will deliver shocks to start or steady the beat. It also sends information about her heart to her cardiologist, further ensuring Jones is receiving the best heart care possible. Once she is strong enough for another heart surgery, Jones will receive a permanent pacemaker. Until then, LifeVest is keeping Jones safe and allowing her to go about her daily activities without fear of sudden cardiac death. 

Rachel Lee:  A 36-year-old triathlete, Lee suffered a severe migraine following a race in August that took her to the Emergency Room. After performing a CT scan, physicians discovered her carotid artery was 95 percent blocked and was dissecting, which is a medical emergency. Lee was at risk for a major stroke, and Iftekhar Ahmed, M.D., Kyle Coffman, M.D., and Graham Lee, M.D., worked quickly to place a stent.  Lee can no longer bike or swim again, or compete in a triathlon.  But grateful that she crossed the finish line of the biggest race of her life, Lee is content with the fact that she can still jog and walk. “Thanks to the quick actions and critical thinking of Dr. Ricci at Menorah and Dr. Ahmed, Dr. Coffman and Dr. Lee at Research, I avoided a stroke,” she says.  “I have my life and in my book, that’s the best possible win.” 

Richard Matter: Rick Matter is a firm believer of people being in the right place at the right time. Matter, 59, of Archie, Mo., had a freak accident in July 2014 when a bee stung him on the back of the neck during a roofing job.   Matter blacked out and tumbled to the ground.  A coworker started CPR on Matter’s crumpled body until a police officer responding to the emergency call took over.  “The trauma of hitting the ground fractured my clavicle, neck and sternum and severely damaged a nerve in my arm,” says Matter.  “The sudden impact also caused me to go into cardiac arrest,” says Matter.  “I don’t remember anything, but I do know that a lot of people jumped into action on my behalf.” LifeFlight Eagle flew Matter to RMC’s Level One Trauma Center where Bangalore V. Deepak, M.D., Cardiologist, rushed him into the Cath Lab, inserting three stents.  Matter spent two weeks in ICU before he was transferred to the hospital’s Telemetry Unit. He was discharged mid-August for occupational and physical therapy. “We had a lot of miracles,” says Matter.  “For one, I’m not paralyzed. Second, I don’t have any brain damage from the fall. And third, I’m alive—I survived some pretty stiff odds after my accident.”

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