Ryder Trauma Center celebrates 25th anniversary

MIAMI (WSVN) - Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center celebrated its 25th anniversary on Thursday. From hurricanes to earthquakes, employees have dedicated more than two decades to helping South Florida residents heal.

Saving lives for 25 years, this day marks the silver anniversary of Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

Hospital officials, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and former patient Carlos Rosario, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, attended a news conference in honor of Ryder Trauma Center’s anniversary, Thursday morning.

Rosario was transported at Ryder Trauma Center after he was struck by a car while on the job.

“They’ve just been amazing, and the way they helped me and my wife and my boys, and it’s such a trauma, so hard – they felt comfortable here, they never felt alone,” Rosario said.

Regalado also told his own story of when Ryder Trauma Center saved the life of his daughter. “As a father, in 1994, my daughter was hit by a drunk driver, and she was airlifted here,” Regalado said. “She had spent weeks, [and] as this trooper, she was fixed, so as a father, I thank Ryder Trauma Center.”

Ryder opened in 1992, shortly before Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida. Since then, the trauma center has been more than a place to heal the injured. “Ryder is an extraordinary source of education research,” said a doctor.

They’re also designated as the South Florida hospital to treat the president of the United States, if need be, and the only national training center for the U.S. Army.

“More police officers have survived attacks in the line of duty, more firefighters have survived dangerous explosions, more moms and dads have come to their children because of the work that’s done at Ryder Trauma,” said Jackson Health Systems president, Carlos Migoya.

Former patient Maty Hallcroft was crossing the street in Coral Gables when she was hit by a car in February. Doctors at the hospital rushed to perform brain surgery on her.

“If I had not been brought here, I might have died,” Hallcroft said.

In fact, Ryder serves as a training facility for military healthcare personnel. Here, they learn to work as a team – providing care to those injured on the battlefield. “The primary goal is for the team to come together in a clinical setting,” said Dr. George Garcia.

These students even handle surprise trauma simulations, mocking the potential situations they’ll face after deployment.

In one situation, they aided a woman they thought had just flown through a windshield. They came to her rescue – as a team – before realizing it was all a show.

“It was a big surprise, and I was sold all the way until the end when they stopped the exercise,” said specialist Brandyn Petty.

The actress, Megan Rodriguez who is a paramedic student herself, was proud of what they accomplished. “They did amazing. They did great,” Rodriguez said.

However, the trauma center’s success doesn’t stop here.

After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Ryder created Project Medishare which opened critical care and rehab centers in Port-au-Prince. Over 130,000 patients were treated and saved in the process.

From resuscitation to rehab, Ryder Trauma Center continues to be a world-renowned facility.

Ryder Trauma Center was built, in part, from contributions of private donations. Contributions of all amounts are always welcome.

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