Extraordinary Save dinner honors
staff who treated youth gunshot victim
Have to ‘look beyond the medical care’
to explain miraculous outcome
By James Tilson
Feb. 22, 2018
MT. PLEASANT—Calling it an “opportunity to honor both the givers and the receivers,” Dr. David Krzymowski presided over the Extraordinary Save dinner Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mt. Pleasant.
The Extraordinary Save is a dinner held every year by Sanpete Valley Hospital to honor emergency personnel and patients involved in what they decide is the most extraordinary lifesaving event of the preceding year.
This year’s recipient was Javon Norman, a young man who suffered an accidental gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 16, 2017.
Kent Chapman, physician assistant and medical director of the Emergency Room, was on duty the day Javon was brought into the hospital.
Chapman gave an account of the events when the hospital was informed of Javon’s injuries: “We received a call from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that they had a young man, 10 years old, with a gunshot wound to the head.”
They activated a “trauma 1” call to the prehospital emergency medical services. “That gives us a heads up that there is an ‘unstable patient’ and allowed us to get all our personnel there,” he said.
He then mentioned the personnel needed on hand: “We had Dr. Krzymowski, our trauma surgeon, and our anesthetist, people from the lab, people from CAT scan, nursing staff, Dr. (Brooks) Thompson and myself all assembled and waiting.”
Then a helicopter was dispatched, which arrived about 30 minutes after Javon.
Thus Javon was on his way to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City less than an hour after arriving at the hospital.
They notified Primary Children’s Hospital so their emergency care team was ready before Javon arrived, “including their emergency room physician, the critical care specialist and a neurosurgeon.”
Chapman characterized Javon’s care: “Everything that could happen right, happened. This is what we want to see in rural trauma—early notification, rapid transport—and that those things that absolutely have to be taken care of right now, get taken care of right now without delaying the patient getting to the place that can fix the problems. And that happened in the most ideal way.”
Javon’s mother, Melissa Reese, told the EMS personnel and hospital staff assembled how thankful she was that her son had recovered from his wound: “I’m just so grateful for each and every one of you. We’re so grateful that he’s here, and he’s healthy and happy, and I owe it to you guys. Everyone knew their job, moved really fast, so we’re just really, really grateful. Thank you so much.”
Javon’s father, Tex Norman, recalled the day it happened. “I got called at work. I was at the mine. I wasn’t told anything other than he was getting Life-flighted. I didn’t get word until I hit Fairview that he had been shot. So I turned around and headed up to Primary. And they were there taking care of him. Just so thankful for everyone’s help and how fast it was. You know, he got to have his 11th birthday. I’m glad he’s around.”
Chapman, noting how well Javon had recovered from his catastrophic injuries, described his recovery as more than what one could attribute to medical care.
He said, “Even the cynic would say this is divine intervention, and some would call it miraculous. And I just think that despite everything having been done and everything going as well as you could hope for, we have to say that this is an outcome we have to look beyond the medical care that has been provided.”