Dr. Via tours Nightingale.

It was Labor Day weekend 2011 and Dr. Dan Via, Sentara Pediatric Physicians, and his family were enjoying a relaxing vacation in Corolla, NC. The weather had been beautiful despite Hurricane Isabel storming through the area the prior week leaving the water just a little choppy.

Via, a very active cyclist, was out in the surf on his boogie board when a wave took him under in the shallow water. He knew immediately something was wrong when he suddenly was unable to move. Some strangers on the beach pulled him in from the water. Via was able to breathe on his own and he never lost consciousness, so he was able to speak and answer questions. However, he knew something serious was wrong because he could not feel anything or move any parts of his body.

Local EMS responded and Via was flown by Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance from a fire station in North Carolina to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for a spinal cord injury.


(L-R) Jeremy Miller, flight paramedic, Dr. Dan Via and Denise Baylous, flight nurse and manager of Nightingale.

“I would not have made it to the hospital in time if it wasn’t for Nightingale,” said Via.

In the very tough weeks and months that followed, Via graduated from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and step down care to rehabilitation facilities in Richmond and Atlanta. He began to move his fingers, then feed himself and eventually began to walk again.

Via is now back to work in Williamsburg, seeing about the same number of patients as he saw before the accident. He also continues to ride bikes, now on a three-wheeled recumbent bike, he is beginning to compete in races again.

“Without the help from Nightingale I would not have made the progress I have today. I cannot thank the staff and everyone for contributing to Nightingale enough for how they have helped save my life.”

Donations to the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance help train and employ staff, like the ones who saved Dr. Via’s life, and provide the equipment needed to keep Nightingale in flight. Your generous donations help our dedicated Nightingale staff save lives every day.

Dr. Dan Via Returns to Work.