Sentara Commitments: Always Keep You Safe
The following personl account was submitted by Steven Ford, RT(R) senior business application system analyst at Sentara Healthcare.
Steven Ford, RT(R), senior business application system analyst at Sentara Healthcare, credits his life still being possible because of Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance.
Nightingale, the region’s first air ambulance service, has been operated by Sentara since 1982. Since beginning operation, Nightingale has completed around 17,000 missions including that of Sentara employee Steven Ford.
Steven Ford worked at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital from 1996-2000 as a x-ray tech while he was still in the Navy. He began working for Sentara again in 2007 after retiring from the Navy, and recovering from his nearly fatal accident.
A Day That Changed Me Forever
“In 2006 I was in a nearly fatal motorcycle accident near Elizabeth City while on my way to work. I was on a single lane country road when a 95 Oldsmobile made a left hand turn in front of me. Too late to avoid the car, I hit him on the right front corner going 55 mph.
“When I hit the car everything went into slow motion as I flew through the air. I flew 40 feet over the hood of the car and landed in a ditch, laying there for 3-4 minutes before someone arrived.
After being taken to Albemarle Hospital, I was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital via Nightingale to the Trauma Bay.”
A Calming Sound Takes Flight
“When they told me Nightingale was coming at first I was scared because as a former EMT, I knew how bad off I was, but then I felt a calm knowing that Nightingale was coming. I felt safer knowing Nightingale was on the way and that within 20 -30 minutes I was going to be at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. This was the moment when I knew I wasn’t going to die.
I stayed at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for five days until I was stable enough to be transported to Portsmouth Naval Hospital where I stayed for almost 30 days. As a result of the accident, I destroyed my right wrist, broke both my legs, fractured one of my lumbar vertebra and had separation in my pelvis. The day after the accident I was taken to surgery for 8 hours where my wrist was stabilized, rods were put in my legs and the separation in my pelvis was reduced. The follow up surgery by the Ortho Hand Specialists on my wrist took another 9 hours.
Long Days Ahead
After the accident I went through months of rehabilitation. I was running marathons at the time of my accident, so not only did I have physical disability, but I also had to overcome the mental struggle of going from being a marathon runner, to being stuck in a wheelchair for four months unable to walk.
While I was an x-ray tech I saw multiple patients come off Nightingale and if it wasn’t for Nightingale, I don’t think a lot of them would have made it. Getting up to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and getting to the trauma team as quick as possible made the world of difference.
It does bring back a lot of memories thinking about the pain, the fear and everything else that I went through. You can’t put a price on Nightingale and the services they provide because they are outstanding. My accident was a truly life changing event and if it were not for Nightingale, I may not be here to tell the story.”
Learn more about The Sentara Commitments.