MedWatch: Level 2 Trauma Center

No one knows when they’ll have an accident, and you can just hope you end up in good hands if you’re seriously injured.

Between Grand Rapids and Marquette, there is just one level two trauma center, and it’s at Munson Medical Center.

As we learn in today’s MedWatch, they’re prepared to save lives at a moment’s notice.

"It was raining really hard that day and he looked at me and he said, ‘Amanda are you sure you’re going to be able to drive in the rain?’ and apparently what I said was ‘I’ll be fine’, because, you know, I kind of don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Just a quarter of a mile later, on M-72 Amanda Loucks lost control, and a car behind her rear-ended her.

This is what her car looked like one year ago.

"It’s hard, especially when I see photos of the car, because I remember waking up in the hospital and besides in this halo I couldn’t, people were like ‘Amanda you were in this car accident’ and I remember thinking like ‘haha, no I wasn’t’.”

That was two weeks after her crash — she had been in the intensive care unit.

"I had broken several ribs, I had a hairline fractures on my pelvis and I broke my C2 vertebrae in two places," said Amanda.

She also had a traumatic head injury.

"When you have an accident that affects your brain, it actually affects a lot of things about you. It could affect your personality, it could affect your taste, it could affect your ability to walk or move, and that was one of the things about a broken C2 vertebrae, it could have affected my ability to walk, and to move, and to breathe, definitely," explained Amanda.

Amanda started and finished her care through Munson Medical Center’s Trauma Center.

"Traumatic injuries are never planned and they are often severe for our patients, and it’s important that the patients get the best care that they can so they can have an opportunity for a complete recovery or restoring as much function as possible," said Walter Noble, M.D., Munson Department of Surgery chair.

Munson has the only level two trauma center in Northern Michigan, and the American College of Surgeons just re-verified that status — that they are able to care for most any patient in an emergency.

"I feel like the staff of this hospital have put their heart and soul into making this work, so I want to give them the cred that’s due as well, because they work hard to make this happen," said Shamarie Regenold, F.N.P., trauma/surgery manager. 

Amanda’s journey from intensive care to today was not short, or easy.

"I went to speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy every day, so every day I had to learn how to re-walk, I had to learn how to stand up and balance on my own, especially with this massive halo, it definitely makes you top heavy.”

And she gives a lot of the credit to the people who were there along the way.

"I’m really going to miss them, actually. They are good people, they really cared about me. And I think, honestly, that’s one of the reasons I got so much better is because they actually cared about me as a person and not just as a job."

Categories: MedWatch