Trauma patient recovers from accident with care at Piedmont Walton

press release from piedmont walton

Pictured Left: Incisions from back surgery performed at Piedmont Athens Regional. Pictured Right: Staples close the incision surgeon Michael Williams, M.D., made during emergency surgery to remove Ana’s ruptured spleen and repair a tear in her bowel. Contributed photographs

Monroe, Ga. (June 12, 2024) — Ana Reyes, 19, went from feeling normal to throwing up blood in a matter of minutes. After being in a car accident, Reyes’ injuries were so severe that she was rushed by ambulance to Piedmont Walton Hospital, a Level III trauma center, where a trauma response-trained team started working on her right away. The physicians ordered imaging as well as a blood transfusion because she was still losing blood.

Imaging showed Reyes’ back had been fractured in the collision, and she would need to be transferred to Piedmont Athens Regional for surgery. But before she could travel anywhere, they had to stop the bleeding, which doctors found was caused by a major laceration to her spleen. They also saw a tear in her bowel and a large contusion on her lung.

Reyes was taken to the operating room by Michael Williams, M.D., a general surgeon at Piedmont Walton with extensive experience in trauma surgery, where he removed her spleen and repaired her bowel. Once she was stabilized, Reyes was life-flighted to Piedmont Athens, where she underwent a second surgery to repair her broken back.

Piedmont Walton is a state-designated Level III Trauma Center and part of a system of dedicated trauma facilities that provide the appropriate care and stabilization of trauma patients. The trauma system in Georgia consists of trauma centers operating at one of four levels of care, each providing a higher level of patient services. 

Like Reyes, severely injured trauma patients often require stabilization before they can be taken to a Level I or Level II trauma center. Piedmont Walton provides expert care for adult and pediatric trauma patients, including surgical intervention.

Three months later, Reyes is doing well and has gotten back to her regular routine. She is thankful for Piedmont Walton’s trauma services and the team for saving her. When she returned to Piedmont Walton a few weeks later to have her staples removed, she said she felt that the staff truly cared, especially when some of the nurses who had treated her the day of the accident came by her examination room to see how she was doing. Reyes is grateful for their kindness and for their dedication to making a positive difference in her life.

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