IAFF Local 4645
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2022 Shock Trauma Gala Hero Award
Sep 12, 2022

Select Members from The Community Fire Co. of Perryville,Md Inc. along with Cecil County DES were invited to attend the 2022 Shock trauma Gala at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. There were many more people from our Dept on the call but unfortunately only given a limited amount of invites. The story about Mr. Mendez is one of every single agency working together for one goal and that goal was saving the life of Mr. Mendez. The invites from Cecil Co. are as follows:

Brian Jackson-CCDES Dispatcher

Tyler Adams= Paramedic CCDES/PT Perryville-working for DES for this call

Nicole Kinsey-Paramedic CCDES/PT Perryville-working for Perryville for this call

Richard (Dickie) Hall- Driver/Firefighter

Harold Riale Jr.-Fire Captain

32nd annual Shock Trauma Heroes Celebration , honoring more than 40 trauma professionals and first responders who worked together to save the life of a 51-year-old highway construction worker whose legs were crushed when he was struck by a car on I-95 and pinned against his truck. He nearly bled to death from his injuries.

Amilcar Mendez, of Beltsville, who was seriously injured on Feb. 15, 2020, as he worked on a construction project on the northbound lanes of I-95 near Perryville. He was struck by a car and "sandwiched" between the car and his truck, nearly amputating his legs. Within three minutes of the 911 call, Maryland State Police troopers from the JFK Highway Barrack arrived at the scene. Using their Stop the Bleed training, they applied tourniquets to help stop the bleeding in Mendez's legs and stabilized him before a Maryland State Police medevac helicopter transported him to Shock Trauma.

Bleeding to Death

"Mr. Mendez was one of the sickest people and most injured people I've ever seen when he got to Shock Trauma," recalled Margaret H. Lauerman, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at UMSOM and an attending surgeon at the trauma center. Dr. Scalea added, "He lost a huge amount of blood from his legs. So, with the combination of his abdominal hemorrhage, pelvic hemorrhage and extremity hemorrhage, he had essentially bled to death when he got here."

Mendez received a massive blood transfusion with more than 40 units of red blood cells, plasma and platelets. In addition to his leg injuries, he had fractures in his pelvis, rib and back, along with injuries to his colon and a torn ureter leading from a kidney to his bladder. Using mesh, doctors rebuilt his abdominal wall. Surgeons were not able to save Mendez's legs, which were then amputated above the knee. He had 12 surgeries within 25 days.

When Mendez woke up in the hospital after the crash, he was initially overwhelmed emotionally, but then thought of his family. "I started thinking that there is a reason why God gave me a second chance," he said.

After spending 50 days at Shock Trauma, Mendez was transferred in April 2020 to the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute, where he received therapy until he was discharged two months later on June 16. A married father of three children, ages 14, 10 and 9 years old, Mendez is able to walk again with the help of prostheses.

"We went to the gym, we started doing some exercise and they were so nice to me. I can't explain, but they changed my mentality," Mendez said.

Melita M. Theyagaraj, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at UMSOM and medical director of the multi-trauma unit at the UM Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute, said, "Even though he was afraid about what was going to happen, what the future would look like, how his family would view him, he always had such a positive attitude. And I think that was half the battle right there."

"I am happy to be here," Mendez said, reflecting on his journey. "There are no words to say, 'Thank you' for the job they did. I feel comfortable. I feel great."

Tyler Adams, a Cecil County paramedic who was on the scene of the crash, said, "Every agency involved really came together to save Mr. Mendez's life."

'A Remarkable Victory'

Dr. Scalea said he did not know how many individual health care providers had cared for Mendez during his 50-day stay at Shock Trauma, "but if you told me it was a thousand, I wouldn't be surprised." He called Mendez's recovery "a remarkable victory."

Forty-three heroes will be honored at tonight's celebration, including Maryland State Police troopers, Cecil County EMS clinicians and Shock Trauma physicians, nurses and staff who cared for Mendez.


Public Safety Professionals of Cecil County, IAFF Local 4645
PO Box 2402
Elkton, MD 21922

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