Beyond Boundaries: R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Celebrates Heroes
April 15, 2021
More than 65 first responders and top trauma medicine professionals who saved the lives of two critically ill patients were honored tonight at the 31st annual R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Celebration of Heroes.
One of the patients, a Baltimore County real estate agent, nearly died of multiple organ failure as the result of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic, and the other patient, a Maryland State Police trooper, was severely injured when his SUV was struck head on by a car traveling at a high rate of speed. His recovery, according to his care team, was “nothing short of miraculous.”
The annual celebration, held virtually this year for the first time because of the pandemic, honors the state’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) clinicians and trauma medical professionals who represent Maryland’s unique, highly coordinated trauma system in saving the lives of the most critically injured.
“At the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, we remain at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, providing critical care to the sickest of the sick while also treating victims of unexpected tragedy,” said Thomas M. Scalea, MD, the Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and Physician-in-Chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “The pandemic is like nothing we have ever seen before, but we continue to adapt and stand ready to provide complex care to every patient, under every circumstance.”
“Our trauma teams have shown a tremendous amount of courage, expertise, compassion and resilience,” noted Dr. Scalea, who is also System Chief for Critical Care Services at the University of Maryland Medical System.
Funds from this year’s event will benefit the Center for Critical Care and Trauma Education (CCCTE), a sophisticated high-fidelity medical simulation center designed to train medical and EMS clinicians to manage the most critically injured patients who require the most advanced initial trauma resuscitation and trauma critical care to survive.
“Our state-of-the art CCCTE features four simulation labs and a blend of simulation technologies that mirror all facets of the patient experience at Shock Trauma, which enables us to provide professional development training to our trauma nurses, physicians, residents and other members of the multidisciplinary team,” Karen E. Doyle, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Senior Vice President of Nursing & Operations at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “The CCCTE is an incredible resource that we will be able to expand with the generous support of our donors.”
The Center for Critical Care and Trauma Education:
Those who attended the gala heard the extraordinary stories of two patients: Darnell Davis, a Baltimore County real estate agent who fell gravely ill with COVID-19 in April 2020, and Trooper Graham King of the Maryland State Police barrack in Princess Anne who sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures when his police SUV was struck head on by a car that crossed the center line in early May 2020.
Davis, then 55, was originally admitted to Greater Baltimore Medical Center after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and then transferred to Shock Trauma on April 30, 2020. He was having difficulty breathing and doctors placed him on ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, for 17 days, with a heart-lung machine doing the work of his lungs to provide oxygen to his body. He also went into acute renal failure and was assisted by another lifesaving machine to help filter his blood and temporarily replace his kidneys.
“At some point, every major organ failed kidneys, heart, lungs,” said his wife, Daven Spencer Davis. He also needed a massive blood transfusion after heavy doses of blood thinners used with ECMO caused life-threatening bleeding. Davis spent 31 days at Shock Trauma.
“I just feel blessed that I was in a situation where I was with a crew of doctors, a team of doctors and nurses who were awesome,” Davis said. “I’m a miracle child…And I want to fulfill that. I’m here for a reason.”
Trooper King was transported to Shock Trauma by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter on May 15, 2020, after the crash on Route 513 in Fruitland, Md. that injured him and another state trooper. Both had to be extricated from the crushed unmarked State Police SUV. “I didn’t think he would even make it to the hospital,” said an emergency medical technician (EMT) who was at the scene.
King’s older brother, Sgt. Jonathan King, a trooper flight paramedic, was onboard Trooper 4 as part of the flight crew that day. “We did everything we could to keep him stable, keep all his vital signs stable and deliver him to Dr. Scalea,” Sgt. King said.
The 23-year-old trooper who was named the 2019 Trooper of the Year at his Maryland State Police barrack had a serious brain injury, a fractured leg and elbow and a lacerated lung. He remained in a coma for several days. “He came in neurologically impaired,” said Dr. Scalea, who noted that doctors focused on repairing King’s fractures and monitoring the pressure in his brain. “He got his fractures fixed early. We know that gives him the best chance of having a good, long-term outcome, so we pushed the envelope and got it done.”
King spent seven days at Shock Trauma before being transferred to University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute, where he underwent weeks of intense therapy to help him recover from his injuries.
“He’s done remarkably well. He’s got a tremendous attitude, and you know he wants to get better and back to work too,” said Marcus F. Sciadini, MD, a Professor of Orthopaedics at UMSOM and an orthopaedic trauma surgeon who also cared for trooper King. The trooper is expected to make a full recovery and return to full duty as a Maryland State Police trooper. He has enrolled in a local EMT program, with an eye to becoming a flight paramedic.
Individuals can make a donation to the Shock Trauma Center by texting the word “Hero” to 410-469-8656.