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Tribute to Trauma Champions Event

Innovative and aggressive treatments bring patients back from death

It takes innovative and aggressive treatments to bring critically injured patients back from death, and that’s just what the Nebraska Trauma System and Bryan Trauma Center celebrate each year, along with patient families and caregivers, at the Tribute to Trauma Champions Event.

Over 650 people attend the event to honor the heroic life-saving measures taken by the Nebraska State Trauma System, which includes first responders, emergency medical services, critical access hospitals, family members, physicians and Bryan staff.

2016 Tribute to Trauma Champions Event

Presented by Union Bank and Trust

This year's Tribute to Trauma Champions event recognizes survivors Heather Boulais and Merri Kaye Bradley and the many dedicated professionals from throughout the statewide trauma system who were involved in saving them.

2016 Trauma Champions

Heather Boulais

When Union College gymnast, Heather fell 23-feet while setting up her gymnastics apparatus, her brain took the brunt of the impact.

Thanks to teammates, coaches, Lincoln Fire & Rescue and the Bryan Trauma team, Heather is alive and rebuilding her future. Due to her traumatic brain injury, she had to relearn all the basic skills we take for granted.

Merri Kaye Bradley

A head-on collision left Merri Kaye with a crushed abdomen and pinned legs, complicating extrication. Life-flighted to Bryan Trauma Center, the team discovered broken bones in her legs, pelvis, elbow and wrist and life-threatening injuries to her liver and spleen.

With the expert and immediate care, Merri Kaye completed rehabilitation and is returning to her active role as a wife, mother, high school volleyball coach and active community member.

Former Trauma Champions – Watch their videos and hear their incredible stories of inspiration

2015 Trauma Champions

Nick Boruch

After a sudden turn and a rollover crash, Nick lay crushed under a forklift.

Collapsed lungs, broken ribs, and a lacerated spleen, among other life-threatening injuries, left first responders uncertain of his chance for survival. Life lighted to the Bryan Trauma Center, Dr. Burton and his expert team intervened with aggressive treatment and stopped at nothing less to ensure Nick would endure the accident and attend his upcoming high school graduation.

“If I could say thank you to the staff at Bryan, I don’t even know how I can put it into words. They saved my life. Thank you for everything.” – Nick

Taylor Graham

What started as a normal day for Taylor quickly turned into a nightmare when his motorcycle struck the back of a stopped van. Suffering from gaping wounds, a fractured femur with no movement in his lower body, Taylor's future was in jeopardy.

With an unending drive to rebuild his life, both physically and spiritually, and with the expert care of the Bryan Trauma Center, Taylor was determined to get better.

“There was no one that told him he couldn’t do anything,” said his father.

Taylor’s drive and the life changing work of the Bryan Trauma Center is allowing him to play in regional wheelchair tennis tournaments, even taking first place in his division.

2014 Trauma Champions

Rod Krogh

A cement truck versus a small car. First responders to the scene were convinced there was no way anyone in the car was still alive. Rod was immediately rescued from the scene with little chance for survival.

Trapped in a medically induced coma with a fractured skull, the traumatic crash left Rod with one of the most severe brain injuries the Bryan Trauma Center had ever seen. Multiple setbacks including hypothermia, swelling of the brain and risks of meningitis created difficulties in Rod's road to recovery.

With patience and perseverance, a collaborative and meticulous team performed a myriad of procedures and stopped at nothing to give Rod back the life he deserved.

"I am eternally grateful, thankful and appreciative for everything that was done for me at Bryan," said Rod.

Cindy Renner

What started out as a normal day for Cindy stopped abruptly as she collided head-on with the most life-threatening experience of her life.

Suffering from extensive bleeding, severe lacerations and nearly every bone in her body fractured due to a traumatic car collision, Cindy was truly broken.

Hickman Fire and Rescue reported immediately to the scene and transported Cindy to Bryan Trauma Center where over 30 highly skilled professionals were waiting care for her when she arrived. The trauma team knew that although her situation was critical, they would not let it defeat her. As Cindy slowly regained life, she never once doubted the dedicated trauma team.

"They knew exactly what they were doing. I'm thankful to be alive today to watch my grandchildren grow," said Cindy.

2013 Trauma Champions

Derek Stromp

Fourteen-year-old Derek lay trapped under an ATV until his cousin regained consciousness after the rollover crash and called for help.

Not only was he trapped, he was not breathing, his color blue when family and medical teams arrived on the scene.

The ambulance transport involved a blown tire and the decision to keep going knowing there was no time to delay, as well as two shocks and continual CPR before regaining any signs of life.

Then came aggressive hypothermia treatment and a myriad of additional procedures and interventions from the team at the Bryan Trauma Center, who stopped at nothing to give Derek his life back.

Adam Koenig

By all rights, Adam, victim of a motorcycle crash, should not be here today.

He owes his life and his remarkable progress to the dedicated first responders and Bryan Trauma Center staff who are fearless in seeking out new ways to use technology to save their patients.

On top of the extensive and life-threatening injuries from the crash, Adam suffered two cardiac arrest episodes. He is the first trauma patient at the Bryan Trauma Center to be placed on a machine that acts as an external lung.

The innovative use of the Extracoporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) was a turning point in saving Adams life.

2012 Trauma Champions

Elizabeth Canas Luong

A shooting a point-blank range at the Americold plant in Crete, Neb.

Thanks to the statewide Trauma System, Elizabeth survived and has her life back.

William Wimmer

A high-speed, head-on crash on Highway 79, without the Trauma System William would not have survived.

Would you like to contribute to the Bryan Trauma Program and help us provide life-saving care? Use our online donation form here and designate your gift to the Trauma program.


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