Families express gratitude to Ryder Trauma
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A group of South Florida families took time out to thank the employees at a South Florida medical center for the life-saving work they do every day.
The doctors, nurses and staff at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center share a commitment to making miracles happen daily.
The center features cutting-edge technology, like a robot with live video of a doctor in London for the Olympics, who conferenced in to assist with a surgery.
The center that now works like a well-oiled machine has been dedicated to providing top-notch, superior medical care and services to the South Florida community for the past 20 years.
No one knows about the Ryder Trauma Center's commitment to saving lives better than the families who have experienced the center's care firsthand.
"Real Housewives of Miami" star Alexia Echevarria's son Frankie was involved in a car crash nearly a year ago, on Aug. 14, 2011. The Jaws of Life pulled Frankie from the mangled mess that remained of his car, and he was brought to Ryder.
Echevarria became emotional as she recounted the intense weeks she and Frankie spent at Ryder Trauma. "You just see that on TV, and you really don't know what goes on until you're here," she said.
A year following Frankie's horrific crash, his rehabilitation continues, but the outlook on his full recovery is optimistic. "I cried when I had to leave here because I was so happy, and I felt so protected and so nurtured," said Echevarria. "We are so blessed to have the Ryder Trauma Center, to have Jackson, to have the whole children's hospital and the rehabilitation. Just the quality of human beings, nurses and doctors that do this every day for us."
Back in February 2011, champion gymnast Jorge Valdes walked out of Ryder Trauma Center, just one week after he landed on his head while doing a flip.
Valdes dislocated his neck and injured his spine in the incident. However, because of the team of doctors at the University of Miami/Jackson, Valdes said, he was not paralyzed as he should have been. "Incredible people you have here that are super positive and kept me on my feet and inspired me to believe," said Valdes. "All you doctors make miracles happen."
When Carlos Brito came to the trauma center at the age of 15, he was barely alive. Brito was a passenger in a car that was drag racing on U.S. 1 when the car slammed into another vehicle. Three young men were killed in the crash.
Brito's spine became crushed in the crash, which left him in a coma. "I came in here without a heartbeat. My heart stopped beating for I don't know how many minutes," Brito said.
Now, 19 years later, Brito is alive; he credits his faith and the team at Ryder with saving his life. "I thank God every day that Trauma's here," he said. "God is good, so thank God that I am here, and thanks to Trauma I am here."
Although these people are complete strangers, they have one thing in common: They say they survived a trauma, thanks to UM Jackson's Ryder Trauma Center. "I learned that life is a precious thing that can be thrown away at any moment," said Valdes.
Echevarria agreed. "I have no words to express our gratitude," she said.
The hospital continues to advance. It will soon begin human testing in an effort to cure paralysis.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)