This year's annual University of Maryland Shock Trauma Gala, to be held on Saturday, May 5 at the new Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, will highlight the dramatic lifesaving efforts that went into the heroic rescues of two young women injured in two separate auto crashes last year. One was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle in Harford County; the other's car traveled down an enbankment and into a tree near Cumberland.
Both women suffered broken bones, lacerations of the liver, head injuries, respiratory difficulty and other life-threatening injuries. Both were in vehicles so demolished that they had to be extricated by force and both were flown to the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Both also had remarkable recoveries.
At the gala, more than 1,200 people will gather to applaud the heroic efforts of the more than 35,000 emergency medical services providers statewide who pull together to make the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center a world-renowned leader in caring for those with critical injuries.
"Our mission is very simple," says John Ashworth, director of the Shock Trauma Center and chief operating officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. "Saving lives. That has not changed in 30-plus years."
This year's annual Shock Trauma Gala will celebrate 31 years of saving lives and will honor an elaborate network of caregivers across the state who cover more than 11,000 square miles around the clock to deliver a 96 percent survival rate at the Shock Trauma Center.
"The gala is an opportunity for us to pay tribute and show our support for the hard work of all the people who stand ready every day to save the lives of people injured by trauma," says Frank Kelly, chairman of the Shock Trauma Center Board of Visitors. "As Maryland residents, it's comforting to know that we have the finest and best-coordinated trauma system in the U.S."
After 17 days in critical care and two months of rehabilitation at Kernan Hospital, 19-year-old Michele Tuttle from Jarrettsville returned home in good health, able not only to walk again but to pursue the dreams of a normal young adult.
After a year following her crash, 19-year-old Anna Mongold from Cumberland is still residing at Deaton Hospital where she's receiving intensive rehabilitation. She, too, is looking forward to a long-awaited homecoming and is working fiercely toward that goal.
Both Tuttle and Mongold made dramatic recoveries and this year's black-tie gala will highlight success stories like these and take a moment to publicly recognize the enormous amount of energy and professionalism that goes into each and every rescue. More than 100 emergency medical service providers are involved in some of the most intensive rescues -- all racing the clock in order to save lives.
The theme of this year's gala, quite appropriately, is "Rhythm of the Hour," in honor of "The Golden Hour," a lifesaving concept that originated through the dedication of Dr. R Adams Cowley, for whom the Shock Trauma Center is named.
The University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center -- the first in the nation -- had a rather humble beginning. R Adams Cowley was a pioneering physician who developed the first clinical shock trauma unit in the nation in the late 1950s -- with only two beds. He negotiated to have military helicopters fly patients to his unit for swift, immediate care in 1968; oversaw the birth of the nation's first statewide EMS system in 1973 and coined "the golden hour," a concept of providing vital care during the first hour after a severe injury that today serves as the benchmark for trauma care worldwide. Dr. Cowley died in 1991 but his legacy lives on.
"Nothing was impossible to Dr. Cowley. He wanted the critically ill and injured to survive and he moved mountains to make it possible. So do we," says Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., physician-in-chief of the Shock Trauma Center.
Approximately 7,000 people will be treated at the Shock Trauma Center this year -- 40 percent of them injured in motor vehicle crashes, 32 percent hurt resulting from falls and other recreational and industrial incidents and 20 percent as victims of violence. Due to technological advances, streamlined approaches and the ability to non-surgically treat many conditions that would have required surgeries before, the center continues to provide state-of-the-art care to the severely ill and injured.
Anyone interested in purchasing tickets to the gala may call 410-328-4438. Tickets cost $250 per person and include cocktails, a seated dinner, dancing, live music and the presentation of this year's Hero Awards. The gala will be held from 6:30 p.m.-midnight at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 700 Aliceanna St.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.