HackensackUMC Honors and Recognizes Trauma Survivors and Care Teams

June 8, 2016 02:34 PM
The Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention and the HackensackUMC Foundation recently celebrated National Trauma Survivor’s Day at a patient’s home in Mahwah.

November 5, 2012 is a day that Pritam Grewal and his family will never forget.  During Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Pritam, of Mahwah, had been providing fuel from one of his retail sites to first responders and hospital workers at HackensackUMC by designating a special refueling line for them so that they could get back to work quickly.  As he was driving home on Route 17 North, Mr. Grewal was in a car accident and he was taken to HackensackUMC.  An MRI was performed, which showed a spinal cord contusion at the C2 and C3 levels of his spine.  The accident left Mr. Grewal paralyzed from the neck down.

“Dad spent many weeks at HackensackUMC recovering, and the trauma team at HackensackUMC was with us every step of the way helping him and our family get through such a difficult time,” said Balpreet K. Grewal-Virk, Ph.D., daughter of Pritam Grewal.  “My dad has always been a fighter.  He is here today because he exemplifies perseverance and strong will. He pushes us to strive for the stars every day, too.  He is truly a survivor and an inspiration to all of us.”

Mr. Grewal was one of 10 trauma patients who were recognized by the Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention and the HackensackUMC Foundation in honor of National Trauma Survivor’s Day on May 18.  Mr. Grewal and his family hosted the event at their home in Mahwah.


“As the leading cause of injury and death in those 50 years of age and under, trauma, which can occur as the result of an accident or a bad decision, creates that moment when a human being is helpless,” said Sanjeev Kaul, M.D., chief, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Department at HackensackUMC.  “What is inspiring to all of us essentially is the immense courage that the trauma patient has in not only surviving the injury, but allowing us, the trauma team, to work with them in their care.  In addition, we witness the trials and tribulations of families and are inspired by the grace and the elegance of how they manifest those ordeals and get through such traumatic events.”

“As Bergen County’s only Level II Trauma Center, HackensackUMC is proud to offer a world-class, multidisciplinary team to care for critically injured patients,” said Martin S. Karpeh, M.D., chairman, Department of Surgery, surgeon-in-chief, HackensackUMC.  “On a day to day basis, our trauma team performs some of the most complex procedures to save the lives of patients of all ages who have suffered devastating and life-threatening injuries.”

Several patients and their family members who attended the event shared their stories of survival, including Ron Gold, the founder of LeanOnWe, who was hit by an SUV while riding his bicycle in Saddle River in November of 2011.  He suffered a catastrophic injury to his spine and was told he would never walk again.

“I have an incredible feeling inside of warmth and appreciation for the incredible staff – the trauma surgeons, ICU nurses and other team members who took part in my care at HackensackUMC,” said Ron Gold. “I thank every one of you for helping me move past what was a horrible period in my life.”

Another patient who was honored was Scott Solomon.  On May 13, 2015, Scott was driving on the Garden State Parkway when his car flipped several times. He suffered severe facial injuries, resulting in numerous reconstructive surgeries.

“I am lucky to have survived such a devastating accident,” said Scott Solomon, of Saratoga Springs, New York.  “But, I was also lucky that the accident happened where it did, and that I was brought to HackensackUMC, the best hospital in the country.”

“I am honored not only to acknowledge our world-class trauma team, but also to celebrate the survival stories of our HackensackUMC patients,” said Sharad Sahu, M.D., vice president, Clinical Integration, HackensackUMC.  “Our Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Department continues to shine as a trusted place that our community relies upon for the most emergent medical needs in the most emergent times in our lives.”

“To the entire trauma team, our entire family thanks you,” said Balpreet Grewal-Virk. “From that very first critical night of my dad’s accident, you went beyond being doctors and surgeons.  You played multiple roles in helping my dad and our family.  You’re therapists, advocates, many times comedians, spiritual advisors, but most of all, our family considers you to be friends.”

Photo caption: 

The Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention and the HackensackUMC Foundation recently celebrated National Trauma Survivor’s Day at a patient’s home in Mahwah.

Left to right, back row: John J. LoCurto, Jr., M.D.,  associate chief, Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention, HackensackUMC; Scott Solomon, Saratoga Springs, NY; Gary Haight, Emerson; John Graham, Maywood; Michael Nepola, Ho-Ho-Kus; Maureen O’Connor Martin, Ridgewood; Sanjeev Kaul, M.D., chief, Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention, HackensackUMC; Martin S. Karpeh, Jr., M.D., chairman, Department of Surgery, surgeon-in-chief, HackensackUMC; and Sharad Sahu, M.D., vice president, Clinical Integration, HackensackUMC.

Left to right, front row:  Juliana Valdez, Bergenfield; Raul Rodriguez Pared, Old Tappan; Pritam Grewal, Mahwah; Ruth Fiorino, Hillsdale; Ron Gold, Saddle River; and Saraswati Dayal, M.D., director, Surgical Intermediate Care Unit, Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention, HackensackUMC.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 12,400 team members and nearly 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to the Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.






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