One-year later, caregivers and survivors remember the Las Vegas tragedy and work to reclaim their lives
In the midst of the unprecedented tragedy on October 1, 2017 – the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history – caregivers and staff at HCA Healthcare affiliate Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas grew closer, stronger and even more committed to care for those in need.
One year ago today and, just after 10 p.m., a gunman opened fire from a high-rise hotel room on a crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas strip, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. Many of the survivors made their way to Sunrise Hospital – the closest trauma center to the incident – by personal vehicles, police cars or ambulance, where more than 100 physicians in every specialty, well over 200 nurses, and anesthesiologists, respiratory technicians, and support staff had descended upon the hospital in response to the tragedy.
Sunrise Hospital received upwards of 200 patients and performed 83 total surgeries – 58 in the first 24 hours of the shooting. Caregivers discharged their last patient, Rosemarie Melanson, who is still on the road to recovery, more than one month after the shooting. Matt Johnson, MD, a trauma surgeon at Sunrise, who performed more than a dozen surgeries on Oct. 1, 2017, appeared on CNN’s Headline News (internal video) to talk about the hospital’s response to the tragedy, his patient Rosemarie, and her long road to recovery.
Just shy of the one-year mark of Oct. 1, the Sunrise staff welcomed back patients from the mass casualty incident to celebrate their survival, reconnect with their care team and remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Survivors were gifted a bracelet made of black onyx – a stone symbolizing the experience of grief that also assists the wearer during the emotional process of mourning and recovery. The orange jasper accent symbolizes strength and healing.
“We gathered together to commemorate the spirit of our community, the strength of our survivors and the commitment of the caregivers and responders involved in what was an unprecedented event in the history of Las Vegas, of the nation and in the lives of everyone,” said Todd P. Sklamberg, CEO Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. “The tragedy leaves an indelible impression, but what is most unprecedented and everlasting is the goodness that remains. You are the testimony for what it means to be “Vegas Strong”, he added.
Today, on the one-year anniversary of the shooting, HCA Healthcare Today honors the survivors and their caregivers from Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in a video tribute where they recount their experiences on Oct. 1, move forward to reclaim their lives, and share why they are Committed to Care. HCA Healthcare internal audience can view the video here.
HCA Healthcare 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA Healthcare celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA Healthcare’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.
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About HCA Healthcare
HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.
As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.