Five Research Med Ctr. patients who survived strokes, amputations, brain injuries say thank you

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Five trauma patients whose lives were saved by paramedics and the medical staff at Research Medical Center, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd., were reunited with them Thursday morning to say thank you.

Kayla Lagud

Kayla was in a minor car accident on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2016. She was headed home after spending the afternoon with her grandma and friends. She stopped at a red light when another car bumped hers. She got out of her car to check the damage to the cars, when a third car barreled into the car that hit Kayla, pinning her between the two.

"It's amazing to be able to say thank you. And to be able to say look at how well I'm doing and it's because of you guys, so I'm very grateful for that," she said.

Kayla just received her prosthetic leg two weeks ago and started therapy.

"I'm just amazed to be able to stand and walk and we painted my walker rose gold," she said."I'[ve got canes on order and I'm just excited to get my life back. This is one of the first steps of many, but it's just getting things back to normal- new normal."

Kayla said none of the people in the other cars came to her aid, but thankfully the crash occurred directly in front of the Chipman Road Church of Christ in Lee's Summit. The Sunday evening service was just letting out and a man named Jim Burrow, who works as a nurse, ran to help her, using his belt as a tourniquet while the pastor's wife cradled her head. Burrow was also joined Kayla for the reunion.

Others who attended the 'Great Save Event' included:

Isaiah Pickett, 70

Ike Pickett fell at his home one day in early February 2017. Two days following the first fall Pickett, who lives alone, fell in his bathroom and a week later, his brother found him on the floor of his home, awake and alert, but unable to get up. After he complained of progressive weakness and difficulty moving his left leg and arm, his brother called 9-1-1 and Pickett was transported by ambulance to the Level I Trauma Center at Research Medical Center where the emergency room team found him weak and suffering from a stroke. He underwent surgery for a large hematoma and, following inpatient rehabilitation at Research Medical Center, returned home.


Trevor Rialti, 20

Sedalia resident Trevor Rialti was ejected from his car on March 15, 2016. The single-car rollover at 120 mph ejected the young man from his vehicle; he landed face down in a ditch filled with water where the mud suctioned his face, rendering him unconscious. He was transported by ambulance to Research Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. Following a two-month hospital stay, Rialti was transferred to a long-term inpatient facility. Today Rialti, who excelled at baseball and football in high school, is a walking miracle. He enjoys life and family, free from the addiction that nearly killed him.

Rhonda McDonald

She also suffered a stroke, and when she arrived at Research Medical Center, she was past the window for stroke reversal. Rhonda was admitted for acute hospitalization and was transferred to Research's inpatient rehabilitation unit. Her daughter says she walks and talks the same as before the stroke and that her memory is perfect. She was there to thank paramedics, doctors and nurses.

James Hanna, 46

It was March 3, 2017 in the early morning hours when James Hanna of Gardner, Kan., was driving at 95th and 71 Highway when his vehicle struck a guardrail and rolled at 60 mph, pinning his right leg under the dashboard. The Kansas City Fire Department responded to the crash scene and stabilized Hanna before transporting him to the Level 1 Trauma Center at Research Medical Center. Emergency medicine physicians Jennifer Von Fintel, M.D. and Leslie Landau, D.O., intubated Hanna and placed him on a ventilator. Hanna’s severe injuries included pelvic fractures, right and left hip dislocation, a near-complete amputation at the right knee, and lung contusions, among others. Sascha Taghizadeh, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, performed the amputation; Ryan Hegg, M.D., interventional radiologist, assessed Hanna’s significant internal bleeding.

Hanna was transferred to Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical Center where surgeon Megan Garcia, M.D. and her team performed wound management over several weeks. He was released on May 11, 2017 and continues to receive inpatient rehabilitation to learn to walk again. Hanna hopes to return home soon.