Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center welcomed back past patients from the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass casualty incident to celebrate their survival, reconnect with their care team and remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy. More than 50 survivors and their family members were joined by hospital leadership, care team members, physicians, first responders and other community partners who played an integral role in care delivery the night of October 1, as well as in the days that followed.
“We gather together today to commemorate the spirit of our community, the strength of our survivors and the commitment of the caregivers and responders involved in what was the largest mass shooting casualty incident in modern American history, said Todd P. Sklamberg, CEO Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. “You are the testimony for what it means to be “Vegas Strong”, he added.
Dr. Chris Fisher, Medical Director of Trauma Services at Sunrise Hospital, said, “All of us assume when the unexpected happens, there will be someone there to care for you. What we do not realize is the training, education and team development that occurs far before that event ever happens,” he added, “This is why trauma centers are so vital to the health of any community. Sunrise Hospital takes that mission very seriously.”
The event brought greetings and words of encouragement to survivors and appreciation to first responders for their heroic acts from members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation, including U.S. Senator Dean Heller, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and U.S. Representative Dina Titus.
Musicians On Call’s artists, Ivy and the Wall, returned to Sunrise Hospital following their 2017 emergency response performance here in the aftermath of the shooting. Once again, Jonathan and Cassandra Lawson brought the healing power of music to our patients and caregivers to commemorate the 1-year anniversary. In April 2018, Musicians On Call officially launched a regular Bedside Performance Program here at Sunrise Hospital.
Survivors received 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.
Video testimonials featured at the event include:
Dwayne Taylor, a Sunrise Hospital care team member with tremendous qualifications and military background that were instrumental in the role he serendipitously played the night of October 1. Taylor was called into action just one-day shy of his official start date at Sunrise Hospital.
Todd and Lori Kammer, Sergeant Todd Kammer and his wife Sheriff Deputy Lori Kammer with the LA County Sheriff’s office, attended the festival together off-duty. Lori recalled how Todd carried her to safety after she was injured. The Kammer’s returned to Sunrise Hospital this summer to reunite with the care team.
Rosemarie Melanson, the last patient discharged from Sunrise Hospital in mid-November 2017, and her family shared their ongoing experience. After more than a dozen surgeries over the course of the past year, she is still on the long road to recovery attempting to regain her life back.
The event closed with a check presentation by Las Vegas Metro Police Department Lt. Erik Lloyd representing the Injured Police Officers Fund. The check, made out to the Kids Foundation of Sunrise Children’s Hospital for $35,000, was one of several given to community organizations following the unprecedented response to October 1. The donation was originally announced in July 2018. The amount was revealed today.
“October 1 was an unprecedented event in the history of Las Vegas, of the nation and in the lives of everyone. The tragedy leaves an indelible impression, but what is most unprecedented and everlasting is the goodness that remains,” said Sklamberg.