HCN News & Notes

Trauma Survivors Gather with Baystate Care Team on National Trauma Survivors Day

SPRINGFIELD — On May 15, National Trauma Survivors Day, patients and their caregivers gathered at Baystate Medical Center in a celebration of strength and resilience.

Pediatric survivors were present, as we were members of Baystate Medical Center’s trauma team and Baystate Children’s Hospital’s trauma team.

On the Baystate Children’s Hospital side, a multi-disciplinary approach allows the team to provide compassionate care for more than 200 pediatric trauma patients each year that sustain multiple injuries or serious single-system injuries. The different elements of pediatric trauma care were highlighted in a presentation, including the importance of child life specialists, and a visit from Isa, the facility dog in the children’s hospital.

Two pediatric patients and their families were present to reunite with the people who helped them heal, including a teenage patient who was reunited with the social worker, Grace Mariani Eurkus, who helped him through some of his most challenging times as he recovered several years ago. He was able to share his story of recovery with the team present and thank them for their work in helping him recover both physically and mentally.

Two adult survivors were in attendance with their families to let doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff know how their care made the difficult experience of recovering from trauma a little bit easier. Of his experience, one patient said, “what I remember the most is the love … I want to say thank you for all of the love and care.”

Another survivor’s family described how close they became with the caregivers at Baystate Medical Center and how special it was to be reunited with them, saying, “thank you for what you do, for your commitment to what you do.”

Two nurses, Maria Cardinale and Alyssa Hyland, received the Trauma Nurse of the Year award.

In both sessions, video recordings from various members of the trauma team were shared, explaining their role in providing patient care. Rev. Ute Schmidt, manager of Spiritual Care, spoke of resilience and offered blessings to survivors, caregivers, and families alike. Quoting child poet Mattie Stepanek, she encouraged attendees, “remember to play after every storm.”