Research Medical Center
December 12, 2018

WHO: Patients Klaire Black, George Boje, Matthew Hendricks, Albert West and Dalton Wimsatt, Research Medical Teams; and First Responders.

WHAT: Thankful Families Celebration

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

Media interviews: B-roll at 10 a.m. prior to ceremony; interviews available after10:30 presentation.

WHERE: Research Medical Center Cafeteria, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri 64132


WHY: In the spirit of the holidays, Research Medical Center will reunite six patients, whose lives were saved due to quick and courageous life-saving measures, with their medical teams and First Responders and emergency physicians during a Thankful Families Celebration.

“This Thankful Families Celebration highlights the remarkable, collaborative efforts made each day in delivering high-quality healthcare to patients like Klaire Black, George Boje, Matthew Hendricks, Albert West and Dalton Wimsatt,” says Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum, Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer. “Especially during this season of giving and giving thanks, we wanted to gather these patients—each who came to us under very different circumstances—and their families with their care teams and First Responders, who represent some of healthcare’s most skilled professionals and compassionate hearts. It’s a powerful example of the continuum of healthcare.”

“Every day hospitals across the region and Emergency Medical Services professionals trust Research Medical Center to care for seriously injured and ill patients at a most vulnerable time in their lives,” says Research Medical Center Trauma Medical Director Mark Lieser, M.D.  “The relationship we share gives us all the opportunity to celebrate saving lives as we reconnect families with caregivers at the holidays.”

A Level I Trauma Center, Research Medical Center is part of HCA Midwest Health—Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider. For more information, visit

Klaire Black, age 22, Trauma:

Kimberly Black and her 22-year-old daughter, Klaire, were looking forward to a girls’ day of pampering and shopping on June 5, 2018. Kimberly’s youngest child, 16-year-old Thomas, returned from lifting weights around 8:30 that summer Tuesday morning; the two were catching up when she became concerned that Klaire was late.

A knock on the door interrupted their conversation; a police officer stood on the front porch.

“He told me Klaire had been in a bad car accident and that the Lone Jack Fire Protection District transferred her by ambulance to Research Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center,” Kimberly recalls. “Within an hour, my husband, Steven, who was at work, met Thomas and me at the hospital.”

Klaire was driving to her parents’ house in Lone Jack that morning. Her usual exit was closed due to construction, so she took the Grain Valley exit. Driving on an unfamiliar road, with the bright morning sun in her eyes, she was driving the speed limit of 55 mph but didn’t see a flatbed truck and trailer partially blocking the road and rammed the back and side of the vehicle.

Once at the hospital, the trauma team told the anxious parents their daughter had received 14 units of blood and two units of platelets and sustained massive injuries including a deep laceration to her neck, which narrowly missed the carotid artery; broken C1 and C2 vertebrae in her neck; and a broken jaw and right hand, among others. Klaire also suffered two small strokes and there were concerns that the accident’s violent impact had affected her cognitive ability.

Not knowing what to expect when they first saw their daughter following emergency surgery, the Blacks’ braced for the worst. Stepping into Klaire’s ICU room at Research Medical Center, they immediately saw she was severely injured, but were relieved to see her moving and giving thumbs up to every question they posed: “Do you know I’m Mom?” “Do you know this is Dad?”

Klaire was moved from the ICU unit on June 22 to Research Medical Center’s rehabilitation unit where she began an intensive rehab journey.

“She was determined and brave,” Kimberly says. “I took a picture of her every day, so I could document her progress and recovery. I also knew at one point she’d be asking questions and I wanted to have the answers.”

Klaire was released to an out-of-state rehab facility on July 13 and returned to Kansas City for additional rehabilitation. Currently she’s attending Occupational Therapy for her right hand, which required a second surgery, and plans to do more speech therapy.

“Six months after the accident, she’s doing great,” Kimberly says. “She’s resilient and courageous. Our family feels beyond blessed that she’s here with us today and is able to return to classes at Northwest Missouri State University in January as a business and marketing student. And we’re particularly grateful for the remarkable team of surgeons and neurologists and therapists and nurses who helped us through this very difficult and challenging time with their extraordinary expertise, kind hearts and compassionate care. Klaire feels that way, too. It will be a Christmas to remember and cherish.”

George Boje, age 64, Brain Hemorrhage: 

George Boje was driving his car on March 5, 2017, when he knew something was terribly wrong and drove to the closet Emergency Room, Menorah Medical Center. After diagnosing a brain hemorrhage, ER physicians had Boje transported by ambulance to Research Medical Center, an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center offering highly specialized care by stroke experts.

Boje spent 19 days in the ICU at Research Medical Center and then nine weeks in the hospital. He received intensive inpatient occupational, speech and physical therapy before returning home, where he continued with therapy on an outpatient basis.  Besides regaining his independence following the stroke, Boje, a sales professional, had two primary goals: To attend his son’s wedding on April 21, 2017, and to play guitar with his band, River Cow Orchestra. Thanks to his fast actions and those of the Menorah and Research stroke experts, Boje watched his youngest son, Kit, get married and now enjoys playing with his bandmates and other musician friends. Still recovering, Boje says each day is better than the last. He spends time with his girlfriend and family, has returned to work full time, plays music and enjoys going to performances around town to hear his friends play and reads and exercises daily.

Matthew Hendricks, age 41, Trauma:

Matthew Hendricks was jogging when he was struck by a car on June 21, 2018. Transported by ambulance to Research Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center, Henricks was admitted to the ICU by the trauma team. He was transferred to the ortho/neuro floor and then discharged to rehab on July 27 and went home on August 6, 2018.

Albert West, Burn:

On July 11, 2018, Albert West’s golf cart was parked above him on a hill when the parking brake failed; the cart rolled down and struck West from behind, causing trauma to his upper right extremity. Pinned for 15 minutes until someone heard his screams for help, West was transferred to Research Medical Center by Lone Jack First Responders where he was admitted to Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical Center and spent 17 days. West underwent skin grafting and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Dalton Wimsatt, age 21, Trauma:

Dalton Wimsatt of Archie, Missouri, fell asleep while driving home on July 15, 2018. His truck careened off the road, striking a tree; Wimsatt suffered multiple injuries, including a head injury with complex facial lacerations, right ear laceration, temporal bone fracture and skull base fracture, among other traumatic injuries.  Transported by ambulance to Research Medical Center, he was admitted to the ICU by the Trauma Team with non-operable injuries.

Wimsatt’s family arrived at Research Medical Center on that summer night to surround him with support. All too familiar with hospital settings, the family has recently been by his younger sister’s side as she recovered from recent heart surgery and his grandmother had suffered a stroke. The Archie community rallied around Wimsatt, too, posting signs with prayers for his recovery. 

On July 18, the young man couldn’t keep his eyes open or talk and could only intermittently follow simple commands.

Transferred from ICU to Research Medical Center’s rehabilitation floor on July 26, Wimsatt was able to sit on the edge of his bed, ask his family: “What happened?” Over the next several weeks, Wimsatt’s family witnessed additional steps

in his recovery: his first full liquid meal on August 3; making facial expressions, including his trademark smile, and slowly walking the hospital’s hallways with assistance. Discharged from Research Medical Center to a rehabilitation hospital on August 8, Wimsatt returned mid-September for surgery with Dr. William Rosenberg, neurosurgeon.

Today Wimsatt is home, where he was able to enjoy fishing this fall—one of his favorite pastimes—and is catching up with the family, friends and community that supported him.