Concord Hospital Trauma Team Saves Lives
When Lori Davis entered Concord Hospital’s Emergency Department on August 13, 2017, there were doubts that she’d be able to walk again. One year later, on the anniversary of a tree-cutting accident that could have killed or paralyzed her, she walked in, carrying a platter of food to thank the medical team that saved her life and started her on a long road to recovery.
Lori was critically injured when she was hit by a large branch she and her husband Scott, were cutting from a tree in their yard in Tilton. The impact opened a severe gash in her head and broke her neck and back.
Fortunately, Scott knew to support Lori’s neck to prevent possible paralysis, while also holding the head wound closed with a towel as they awaited Tilton EMTs. The first responders further stabilized her and sped to Concord Hospital, where the trauma team prepared for her arrival.
“I remember the bright lights and the swarm of people,” Lori said. “It was a combined effort and they were a well-greased machine. They all had their place and they all knew what they were doing, and they saved my life.”
After the Emergency Department team closed Lori’s head wound with stitches and staples, she went into emergency surgery to stabilize her back and neck. The next day she had more surgery to rebuild her back.
At first, she wondered if she would live through that first day, then whether she would walk or drive or be able to return to work as an administrative assistant at the State Public Utilities Commission.
Her husband and daughters, the Tilton EMTs, the Concord Hospital Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), patient care unit teams and physical therapists at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital reassured her and carried her back to the life she enjoyed before the accident.
“I am so grateful I can walk, I can feel my hands, I can breathe without an apparatus, I can drive and I am back to work,” said Lori, who is 56.
Lori was in the ICU for four days and in a patient care unit for a day and a half before being transferred to HealthSouth for 21 days of intensive physical therapy, by six months of weekly physical therapy sessions.
“At first, there was a high chance of not being able to walk again,” she said. “But I was in the right place at the right time and had the right people in my life from the beginning to end.”
“There were definitely angels on my side, for sure,” she said, especially the nurses in the ICU, whose calmness, compassion and constant care helped her and her family. One ICU nurse even checked on Lori after her shift was over and while she was on vacation.
“They were my guardian angels,” Lori said. “They wanted to know my pain level and they wanted me to be as comfortable as possible. I was so incredibly scared, I just kept holding their hands and they were so receptive and listened. They were there to help me and my family because it was a family tragedy.”
On the anniversary of her injury, Lori delivered platters of sandwiches and desserts to the Tilton Fire Department, Concord Hospital’s ICU and HealthSouth to thank those who helped her survive and walk again. Lori and the ICU team had tears in their eyes when she offered her platter and her thanks.
“I said ‘This is not just from me, it’s from everybody you have treated and taken such good care of. We all appreciate you, please continue doing what you are doing, because it’s making such a big difference in lives every day,” she said.