The Great Hang Up: Two trauma nurses on a mission

    7:46 PM, May 20, 2010   |    comments
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    For nurse Laura Bailey, this mission is personal, and she has a personal message for any teen who'll listen.

    "We're going on a year now and we're all still devastated," says Bailey. "It tore us in our souls, in a place that I don't know if it will ever be fixed."

    Bailey lost a family member to distracted driving. Now, all her grief and pain is focused on educating teenagers, explaining the dangers of texting while driving.

    "Not much hurts like losing someone in a tragedy like that," says Bailey. "And when we are doing our presentations, I tell them please don't do that to your family. It's a very simple thing to prevent from happening."

    Bailey is a trauma nurse alongside Celeste Bryson. They work in one of the toughest hallways at UAMS Medical Center, the surgical trauma intensive care unit. They see first-hand what distracted driving does to people.

    "We see multi-system injuries," says Bryson. "We're talking head bleeds, multiple fractures, broken bones, internal bleeding, coronary contusions, heart contusions, collapsed lungs, those types of things."

    "We see horrible, devastating injuries," says Bailey. "Everyone dies, and there are some that consider those that have died the lucky ones because paralyzed for the rest of your life at 20 years old is a very hard thing to deal with."

    "Some of these crashes are not accidents. They could be avoided with some of the choices they make," adds Bryson.

    And that's their most important message. It's a message about choices.

    "We all get burned out because of things we keep saying over and over: don't text, don't read, pay attention to what you are doing on the road," says Bailey. "All of this could be avoided but it's just too easy"

    "The most important thing to remember is that these are about choices, you can't take back that split second. You cannot take the fatalities that we see from that one second it took to make that choice," says Bryson.


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