January 12, 2017
For two years, Jennifer Gray has wished to meet the physicians and first responders who saved her life. On Thursday, members of Memorial Regional Hospital’s trauma unit along with first responders from Miami Dade Fire-Rescue and Miramar Fire-Rescue Department surprised her with a reunion that colleagues at her workplace helped organize.
Back on January 5, 2015, Gray, 33, was in a car accident in Miramar that left her unable to walk. She sustained a severe injury to her pelvic area, which can be life threatening at times, said Daniel Chan, MD, Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon for Memorial Regional Hospital. The pelvic fracture involving her hip socket was reconstructed. After rehabilitation and being on crutches for a few months to help the injury heal, she has returned to full activity including running marathons and starting an awareness campaign for mental health awareness.
“She needed surgery not only to stabilize her pelvis, but to allow her to walk again,” added Dr. Chan. “It is gratifying to see all of the people who had a role in her care from the trauma servers to the first responders here. This highlights the importance of the team approach in trauma care and helping patients recover.”
Since the accident, Gray’s wish was to meet the people who positively impacted her future. “You all have no idea just how you changed my life,” said Gray, to the medical team. “Everyone kept me talking from the emergency crew to the ER people. The last two years have been such a journey for me. I just finished a marathon, I am creating something for mental health awareness so that you know that you are not alone, you just can’t quit.”
“Trauma is just around the corner sometimes,” said Andrew Rosenthal, MD, Medical Director, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Memorial Regional Hospital. “When we come across people who are critically injured and who come back like Jennifer, it is a reminder of what we are capable of when you have the strength and the ability to recover in a way that gives inspiration to others to do the same thing.”
Gray spent a week at the hospital where after surgery, she underwent rehabilitation.
“I have been through a lot these last few years but this accident was the icing on the cake to help me fight and get inspired to move forward,” said Gray.
“It’s such a team approach,” said Rosenthal. “From paramedics, to the transport group, the helicopter, our staff at the hospital and rehab unit, its all of those people who make up all of the pieces that go into place to help a patient get through that long hard call. Today is when you realize what a great support system, a great attitude, and that drive to recover can do for the life of a human being.”