Ryder Trauma Center, a prestigious Level I adult and pediatric trauma center, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary of saving countless lives – people with devastating injuries after motor vehicle crashes, burns, gun violence and other traumas. Ryder Trauma Center treats an average of 4,000 patients a year, making it one of the busiest trauma centers in South Florida.
On August 3, 1992, Ryder Trauma Center opened just weeks before Hurricane Andrew devastated South Miami-Dade County. The initiative received funding from the Ryder System Charitable Foundation who provided a $2.5M naming gift to fill a critical community need. The campaign for the Ryder Trauma Center was the start of Jackson Health Foundation.
Ryder Trauma – the designated South Florida facility to treat the President of the United States and other dignitaries, if necessary – has a rooftop helipad that can withstand the weight of a 20,000-pound Blackhawk helicopter. The helipad’s capability played a critical role after Hurricane Andrew since those who were critically injured were airlifted to Jackson on board Blackhawks.
In October 2001, the U.S. Army selected Ryder Trauma as its only national Army Trauma Training Center in order to enhance the clinical skills and experience of its Forward Surgical Teams before being deployed for combat. In the past 16 years, Ryder Trauma has trained more than 170 teams.
To honor the contributions that Ryder Trauma Center has made to South Florida and beyond, survivors returned to Ryder on its 25th anniversary, to give thanks to the medical teams that saved their lives. Among the speakers were Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Carlos Rosario and Maty Hallcroft.
On March 17, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Carlos Rosario, was taking part in a speed enforcement detail on the Dolphin Expressway when a driver lost control, hit Rosario’s car, which then struck him. Rosario was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, clinging to life. Trooper Rosario underwent a series of surgeries, and spent several weeks in the intensive care unit at Ryder Trauma. He also received in-patient rehabilitation therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital. He was discharged two months later.
On February 22, Maty Hallcroft was crossing a street in Coral Gables, when a driver plowed into her. She was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center, where the medical team discovered she had a subdural hematoma, a buildup of blood on the surface of the brain, and an intracerebral hematoma, bruising of the brain caused by a head injury. The life-threatening condition required immediate surgical intervention. Doctors opened the dura, or skin that covers the brain, and drained a blood clot. The surgeon then performed a decompressed craniectomy, a surgery to remove a piece of the skull to reduce swelling in the brain. Hallcroft spent a few weeks in the neuroscience intensive care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and received physical and speech therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital. Just a month ago, Hallcroft underwent a cranioplasty, in which the missing piece of skull was replaced with her original bone that was removed and stored in a bone bank.
The news conference also honored the life-saving skills of the Ryder Trauma team, as well as the ongoing support provided by the trauma center’s founding benefactor, Ryder System.
With your help, we can continue providing accessible health care services to all residents in Miami-Dade county. Make a gift to the Ryder Trauma Center by clicking here.