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Research Medical Center hosts thankful families reunion with survivors and caregivers

Trauma patients will be reunited with their EMS and first responders, physicians and care teams.

November 22, 2023
Alexis Stockdall smiles while sitting in a wheelchair, surrounded by physical rehabilitation technicians.

Two former Research Medical Center patients with remarkable stories of triumph will reunite with their first responders and medical care teams during the hospital’s annual Thankful Families celebration. Research Medical Center is part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s premier, largest healthcare provider.

“This annual event recognizes inspiring, collaborative efforts made in delivering compassionate, high-quality healthcare to patients during some of their darkest days,” said Research Medical Center CEO Dr. Paul Hancock. “Just like family, we come together to support, share victories and celebrate. These determined, resilient patients are powerful examples of the importance of caring like family.”

“This reunion highlights the premier healthcare services like emergency, trauma and burn we offer patients throughout the region and underscores how we collaborate with EMS and first responder partners,” said Research Medical Center orthopedic trauma surgeon Molly Black, MD. “As healthcare providers, it is our privilege to reconnect families with their caregivers during this month of gratitude, reinforcing our commitment to the care and improvement of human life.”

Research Medical Center is a Level I Trauma Center ACS-verified facility and designated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. To learn more about this certification and services offered, please visit their website.

Alexis Stockdall, 17: Trauma patient, motor vehicle crash

“The rehab team always made it fun to do more and didn’t push. The ICU nurses were really nice and made me feel better about my situation.”

On September 22, 2022, 16-year-old Alexis Stockdall was involved in a motor vehicle crash when her car collided with a tractor, left the roadway and rolled multiple times. Stockdall was trapped inside the car and required extrication by first responders. Life Flight Eagle transported a badly injured Stockdall to Research Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center. She suffered from a collapsed lung and was put on a ventilator, broken jaw and a spinal fracture at C6, which caused a spinal cord injury resulting in her being paralyzed from the waist down.

After nearly six weeks in Research Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit and Patient Care Unit, Stockdall was transferred to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital where she spent three months undergoing therapy.

Now a junior at Holden High School in Holden, Mo., Stockdall attends school part time and takes core classes online. She is adjusting to her new life and has started to color and draw again, which she enjoys.

Bradley Sage, 42: Trauma/Ortho/Burn patient, motorcycle crash

“These perfect strangers saved my life and I need to thank them.”

Sage suffered limb-threatening orthopedic, skin and soft tissue injuries when his motorcycle was hit by a truck on a busy road in Belton, Mo., on July 3, 2023. The 41-year-old flipped over his bike, resulting in a severely broken ankle, fibula and tibia. Belton Fire Department transferred Sage to Research Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center. The Research Medical Center emergency and trauma teams and Molly Black, MD, orthopedic trauma surgeon, were able to save Sage’s leg by resetting it and restoring blood flow. Sage underwent seven surgeries to repair his severely fractured leg and ankle and while Dr. Black repaired his orthopedic limb injuries, there remained large skin and soft tissue defects over his ankle. Dr. Black called in Megan Garcia, MD, burn surgeon at Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical Center, who debrided the injury and skin grafted the wound. Sage suffered injuries that most likely would have been treated with an amputation at another facility.

“I’ve never met a more positive person than Dr. Garcia,” Sage said. “She is beautiful inside and out, talked to me like a human and was confident she could fix it.”

Sage nominated one of his Research Medical Center nurses, Lisa Belden, for a DAISY Award. “Lisa always goes above and beyond every day,” he said. “She clearly cares more about her patients than anything else going on in her day and treated me like family.”

A union iron worker for almost 20 years, Sage went home following 26 days in the hospital and is currently undergoing physical therapy to regain strength in his ankle. Worried about whether he would be able to walk again, Dr. Black told Sage it would be a long journey, but to be patient.

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Chris Hamele

November 22, 2023
Research Medical Center

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