Greenville, N.C. ECU Health’s EastCare team was awarded MedEvac Transport of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) for their initial transport of East Carolina University freshman Parker Byrd and subsequent transports throughout his recovery. The EastCare air medical team, Steve Bonn, pilot, Henry Gerber, EMT, Milando Stancill, EMT, Leigh Ann Creech, communication technician, Jessica Rispoli, flight RN and John vonRosenberg, flight paramedic, accepted the award on Oct. 26 for their efforts rendering life-saving care to Byrd.

On July 23, 2022, Byrd, an incoming freshman and baseball player at ECU, was boating in a remote creek when his legs were cut by the propeller, resulting in severe trauma. A friend and teammate was able to pull him back in the boat and immediately applied a makeshift tourniquet. First responders on the scene recognized the severity of his injuries and requested air medical transport. The EastCare air medical team jumped into action, rendering life-saving trauma care on the flight to ECU Health Medical Center, the only Level 1 Trauma Center east of Raleigh.

“EastCare team members dedicate themselves to ensuring the people of eastern North Carolina who live in vast, rural areas have access to timely and life-saving care,” said Trey Labreque, director of EastCare. “Thanks to the quick actions of everyone involved, including Beaufort County EMS for their initial response and clear communications with the flight crew, the transition of care was quick and efficient, and the patient made it to the trauma center stabilized, which is our objective as a flight team. This award is testament to all EastCare team members who live the ECU Health mission.”

Quick actions by the flight crew dramatically improved Byrd’s vital signs prior to arriving at ECU Health Medical Center. Flight nurses administered plasma, blood products and treatment for traumatic hemorrhagic shock during the air transport. In the following weeks, due to the severity of injury, the EastCare team provided Byrd transportation to the wound care center twice daily, multiple times per week to receive specialized care and hyperbaric treatments at ECU Health’s Wound Healing Center.

“The EastCare team has been nothing but phenomenal to me,” said Byrd. “From day one, they were doing their job to the best of their ability. I want to thank each and every person on the EastCare team for what they have done for me.”

Byrd was discharged in mid-August, nearly one month after his injury. After 22 surgeries and a partial leg amputation, Byrd continues to undergo outpatient care and rehabilitation in his recovery process. Byrd plans to continue classes at ECU and practice with the baseball team while he undergoes rehabilitation.

Please join ECU Health in recognizing the EastCare team for their rescue of Byrd and their efforts to render emergency care to all patients across eastern North Carolina.

Awards | EastCare | Emergency & Trauma | Featured | Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – July 19, 2021 ECU Health Medical Center (VMC) is proud to announce it recently joined the American Trauma Society’s (ATS) network. VMC is one of only 130 hospitals in the United States designated as a Trauma Survivors Network (TSN) facility. TSN links survivors and their families with others who have shared experiences, providing support and resources to enable victims to rebuild their lives.

“We are extremely excited to provide resources patients and families need to recover both mentally and physically,” said Bryan Lake, trauma outreach coordinator at VMC. “Our goal is to compassionately support our survivors and community through all stages of trauma recovery. We have a unique, life-changing opportunity to guide patients and families through uncharted waters and convey the understanding they are not alone in this journey.”

The program aims to help survivors manage day-to-day challenges after a traumatic injury as well as bring together trauma survivors and families to connect with one another and share support and information about the recovery process.

Additionally, the TSN will collaborate with health care providers to deliver specifically tailored care and support to patients and their families and friends after a traumatic injury and will help build a community of advocates dedicated to improving injury prevention efforts and treatment.

“As one of only six hospitals in North Carolina to have earned Level I Trauma Center status, VMC is proud to offer quality care for trauma patients and their families and values this opportunity to further support them beyond the doors of the hospital,” said Lake. “Trauma patients will now have a community of people experiencing similar hurdles while adjusting to life after a traumatic injury.”

When a trauma patient is admitted to VMC, coordinators will introduce patients and families to the program. The network is open to all ages, from children to adults. Participants will be connected with other members both in the local area and around the country through virtual and in-person support groups.

The network is open to survivors, previous trauma patients, families, friends, health care workers and any community members. Those interested in joining the Trauma Survivors Network can visit its website to learn more.

Emergency & Trauma | Press Releases