In an evening dedicated to "Heroes in Healthcare," a record 770 supporters, including many from health care fields, enjoyed a gala event April 28 as they raised more than $412,000 for the new UCHealth Community Education Center.

President/CEO Joel Yuhas said this is where EMTs, first responders, trauma physicians and nurses will receive the latest training to care for the critically injured. It's also a comprehensive effort that includes Pikes Peak Community College and UCCS, police and fire departments and ambulance companies.

One of the programs, an accelerated paramedic training, will address what speakers called "a critical shortage of paramedics in El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties."

Setting the gala's theme around the Broadmoor ballroom in this 16th annual UC Health Memorial Hospital Gala, were bright red antique fire department vehicles and a fully equipped ambulance. An original piece by The Silhouettes shadow dancers was performed in memory of the late Gayle Beshears.

In the spotlight was trauma care and treatment as Yuhas dramatically demonstrated how many people are involved when a person is critically injured. Teen London Lyle was rushing to Show Choir at Cheyenne Mountain High School when she swerved her SUV to avoid hitting a deer. The vehicle flipped four times, pinning her beneath. A chaplain met her mother at the hospital. Surgeries, 26 broken bones including a spinal fracture and many months of trauma recovery later, she will go to college in the fall. London's mother, Christine O'Brien, honored the community of experts and people who made her daughter's recovery possible. They're heroes, said mother and daughter.

Step by step, the hospital CEO named all of the people involved in London's case as their photos popped up on a large screen all around the vibrant teen's. Altogether there were 250 photos, including Timber, the therapy dog, and a hospital housekeeper whose cheerful demeanor always brightened London's days.

"Where there is hope, there is life," Yuhas said.


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