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Waterbury Hospital Trauma Survivor Home for Christmas


Waterbury Trauma Victim Home for Christmas.jpg

Jailisa Reyes will get to spend Christmas with her 8-year-old son. Her journey to a simple moment of waking up to see her child at Christmas has been filled with determination and plain miracles.

Her life changed dramatically following a wrong-way crash on Route 8, at around 3:30 am on Aug. 29. She remembers the wrong way car coming at her and nothing more until she woke up at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut days later.

Jailisa was cut out of her heavily mangled car, and while firefighters worked to free her, EMTs worked to keep her alive. Within 32 minutes of the initial 911 calls, Beacon Hose ambulance crews pulled into Waterbury Hospital to the awaiting trauma and emergency department staff. Within minutes of arriving in the trauma bay, she went into cardiac arrest and surgeons performed an ED thoracotomy to help her.

“The patient received manual heart massage by the trauma team for more than 90 minutes,” said Waterbury’s Trauma Coordinator Dayna Failla.

“Statistically, this patient had less than a 1 percent chance of survival,” said Failla. “Every link in the pre-hospital and hospital chain played a part in her surviving those devastating injuries. She also had a strong will to survive.”

She had sustained abdominal injuries/bleeding, a C7 fracture and required a below-the-knee amputation. She went on to spend several days in the ICU and then was able to be downgraded to a medical/surgical floor.

There were hugs of sincere thanks and tears, as Reyes got to meet the Waterbury Hospital doctors, nurses and staff who helped her get back home to her family.

“I can be with my son thanks to you,” she told our colleagues. Reyes’s presence and her family’s thanks were a holiday present for so many of our colleagues. She also visited Beacon Hose Company 1 to thank them for what they did to save her life.

Reyes’s story was featured in the Republican American and will be featured on News Channel 3. A video story produced by Beacon Hose Company 1 is available on the hospital’s  Facebook page.