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Published on September 14, 2018

Kearney Man Who Survived High-Speed Motor Vehicle Collision is Bryan Health’s Trauma Champion

Miles Margritz, a Kearney man who survived a motor vehicle crash in which he was hit by an oncoming car traveling 140 mph, is Bryan Health’s Trauma Champion for 2018.

Last December, Miles was on his way to an early morning Christmas breakfast with co-workers in Grand Island. While turning into a Perkins parking lot, he was struck by an oncoming car traveling 140 mph with no headlights on. Miles was ejected through the passenger window and suffered life-threating injuries.

“He was face down on his right shoulder and was leaking blood everywhere,” said Andy Allen, a Nebraska State Trooper who was among the first on the scene. “This guy got hit so hard, there’s just no way he could survive.”

An initial CAT scan in Grand Island revealed internal bleeding in his abdomen. He was immediately taken to surgery to control the bleeding. After his operation, Miles was airlifted to the Bryan Trauma Center for further life-saving treatment. His abdomen was left open during the flight.

Miles arrived at the Bryan Trauma Center as a category one patient, the most severe. He had injuries to multiple systems in his body, including fractures in his ribs, shoulder, wrist, leg, ankle and skull. Surgeons operated immediately to stabilize him and save his life. Next, specialists focused on treating the most severe injuries to his pelvis and ankle. Miles’ time in the intensive care unit was filled with highs and lows.

“It was very, very difficult,” said Dr. Stanley Okosun, medical director of Bryan Trauma Center. “This was a patient with multiple injuries, and also a traumatic brain injury. At one point, he didn’t know who his wife was. No person wants to go through that and no family member wants to experience that.”

After two weeks at the Bryan Trauma Center, Miles took the next step in his recovery. He began physical and occupational therapy at Bryan West Campus to regain his strength and ability to complete basic tasks. After nearly a month of rigorous work, he was discharged and returned home to Kearney. Miraculously, life is nearly the same as it was before the incident. Miles was fortunate to beat the odds. Experts informed him they’ve never seen a person survive a crash with the kind of G-Forces he experienced.

“I get a lot of joy out of the little things now,” said Miles. “My favorite thing is to rock my son to sleep, because I have the chance to do that. I’m just honestly thankful to be here. I have a lot of respect for everyone involved in the situation and didn’t realize how important those people were until I went through something like this.”

Miles and those involved in his care were honored at Bryan Health’s Tribute to Trauma Champions. The event took place at the Lincoln Cornhusker Marriott on Thursday, September 13. The program included remarks from invited guests and an in-depth video on Miles’ story. The gathering culminated by bringing on-stage all first responders, emergency medical personnel, doctors, nurses, surgeons and rehab specialists to reunite with Miles and his family.

Created in the 1970’s, Bryan Trauma Center has been at the forefront of providing care to critically injured patients in Southeast Nebraska. The program was the birthplace of the Advanced Trauma Life Support course. This program provides curriculum and training to physicians and providers around the world to set standards of care for patients with immediate, life-threatening injuries.

Bryan Trauma Center has also been the designated Trauma Center for Southeast Nebraska. The facility is the lead hospital for Region II of the Nebraska Statewide Trauma System. Over 37,000 patients have been saved in the last 40 years, with 97 percent of all trauma patients arriving with signs of life surviving. That figure rises to 99 percent with pediatric trauma patients.

For more information on the Bryan Trauma Center, and to watch Miles’ video, please visit bryanhealth.org/trauma-champions.

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