In recognition of EMS Week, Research Medical Center will honor and reunite physicians, care teams, EMS partners and First Responders with four former patients whose lives were saved due to quick and courageous actions.

“Great Save Events allow us to recognize the extraordinary collaborative efforts made every day in delivering high-quality, compassionate care to patients like Steve, Ramoni, Kayla and Elizabeth,” said Research Medical Center CEO Dr. Paul Hancock. “Patients suffering from cardiovascular emergencies, critical injuries from trauma and strokes come to us with very different requirements to return to their lives and often it’s a long journey to recovery. Gathering these individuals with their care teams, EMS professionals and First Responders is an integral part of full-spectrum care and underscores how we all touch patient lives with medical expertise, hope, healing, comfort and care.”

“Our trauma and emergency teams partner with EMS crews and First Responders who represent some of healthcare’s most skilled professionals,” said Research Medical Center Level I Trauma Medical Director Mark Lieser, MD, Board-certified in general surgery. “Their pre-hospital care and compassionate spirit are nothing short of heroic.”

Research Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center is ACS-verified and designated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and is part of HCA Midwest Health—Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider. For more information, visit the Research Medicacl Center website.

Cardiology, cardiac arrest: George "Steve" Remund, 69

Steve Remund and his great save EMS team

Recollections of September 10, 2022, are nearly nonexistent to Remund, a lifelong resident of Kansas City. “It was a Saturday morning, and my wife heard a thud on the floor,” said Remund, who had suffered a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) — a complete blockage in his coronary artery — as well as cardiac arrest. “She immediately called 911 and they directed her to start CPR. She has been trained in CPR, but it was a long time ago. The dispatcher provided instructions on how to proceed. Soon thereafter the ambulance came, and they continued working on me and got my heart going. Of course, I remember nothing of this.”

Remund was taken by Kansas City Fire Department to Research Medical Center where Interventional Cardiologist Alec D. Weisberg, MD, placed a stent to relieve the coronary blockage.

“Dr. Weisberg was a great help to my wife and me throughout this ordeal, as were the rest of my care team. The hospitalists were a huge help and comfort to my wife,” Remund said. “Thanks to all the other nurses and staff who put up with me. I believe I was unconscious for 3 days and I guess my mind had a hard time catching up when I came to.”

During his time in cardiac rehab, Steve credits the rehab staff with keeping him motivated to keep up with his exercises. “I am in good shape now, still following up with Dr. Weisberg. I had no heart damage,” he said. “I have been watching my diet to reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol I eat.”

He also credits his wife, Diana, and the 911 dispatcher who intervened to save his life through CPR. According to the American Heart Association, the 2023 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics state that among the over 356,000 cardiac arrests that have occurred outside of the hospital, only 40.2% received bystander CPR.

Steve Remund, his wife Diana, and the 911 dispatcher

Trauma, shooting victim: Ramoni Burns-Driskell, 22

“I only have one kidney and now I walk with a limp. I was shot over nine times. If it hadn’t been for my Research Medical Center care team, I wouldn’t be here. I may be different now than what I used to be, but because of them I am alive, and now I am the new Moni.”

Burns-Driskell had dreams of advancing her career from being a Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) to becoming a Certified Medication Technician (CMT). The Kansas City native spent her days caring for her great-great-grandmother as a CNA and was going back to school to earn her CMT credential until she found herself as an innocent bystander in a shooting on January 20, 2022.

“I was picking someone up and got caught in the crossfire of a shooting that took place. I was clueless. I took the brunt of the shots to my side of the car,” Burns-Driskell said. “First shot was to my head, and it made me black out. Never in my life would I say I was lucky for blacking out after being shot, but if I had been awake, I would have moved around and died.”

She was rushed by Kansas City Fire Department EMS to Research Medical Center’s ACS Verified Level I Trauma Center where surgery was performed by Mark Lieser, MD, and John Chipko, MD, both trauma surgeons. During surgery, it was discovered that the bullets injured Burns-Driskell’s right kidney, colon, liver, pancreas and the first portion of her small intestine. Due to the extensive damage, she underwent an extremely complex series of surgical procedures to remove the injured organs and then reconstruct her GI tract.

“It is not an understatement to say that Ramoni underwent what is probably the most complex operation a person can have in their abdomen,” said Dr. Lieser. “For her to be here to tell her story is a testament to the dedication and expertise of her entire care team, to the support she received from her family and to her fighting spirit.”

Ramoni Burns-Driskell and his great save EMS crew

“My care team was amazing. They nurtured me back to health. They got me out of bed and encouraged me to keep going. I reached every goal I had and surpassed some of them,” Burns-Driskell said. “I love the support I still have from them. I love that even when my grandpa was at Research Medical Center, he had the same rehab team I had, and it felt like a family reunion.”

“I believe what happened to me, while unfortunate, was a lesson I needed to learn. And you know what? I’m alright. I am glad God got me through that. I may not be the same anymore, it has taken me a whole year to realize I am different, and I still have a long way to go. But I am the new Moni.”

Neurology, stroke: Elizabeth White, 65

White experienced stroke symptoms on February 25, 2023, while she was ill with the Norovirus. Dehydrated and unable to keep anything down a few days prior to her stroke, on this night she was getting ready for bed and remembers getting her right side getting weak and her husband called 911. She was taken by Johnson County MedAct to Menorah Medical Center where they gave TNK, a protein that can break up blood clots. She was then transported to Research Medical Center where she had mechanical thrombectomy by Ashish Kulhari, MD, neurologist. Following the procedure, she went to in-patient rehabilitation. Since then, she has done very well and she and her husband credit the care team that was there for her during a very frightening and vulnerable time.

Elizabeth White and her EMS great save team