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California Trauma Center Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Vanessa and Sam Maynard of Camarillo celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary today, something they say that is nothing short of a miracle.

Four months ago, Vanessa Maynard, 51, was critically injured in a car accident, suffering five potentially lethal injuries, including a ruptured aorta, a ruptured liver, a broken pelvis, collapsed lungs and a head injury.

'They didn't expect her to survive,' said Sam Maynard, 52. 'My life would have been over.' She was rushed from Camarillo to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, which last year was certified as a level-two trauma center.

At Los Robles, she received care from the trauma team under the direction of trauma surgeon Dr. Laurence Weekes.

'Vanessa Maynard can be described as the quintessential blunt trauma patient,' Weekes said. 'Three different times, she went into shock and we resuscitated her. Time was of the essence.' She has no doubt about what would have happened if she hadn't been taken to Los Robles.

'I would have died,' Vanessa Maynard said.

On Wednesday, she returned to the hospital to thank those involved as part of an event to mark the first anniversary of the trauma center.

Hospital personnel were joined at the celebration by representatives from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team, and local ambulance and medical transport companies, as well as by elected public officials.

Dr. Maggie Kademian, the trauma center medical director, told the gathering the trauma center has cared for 900 trauma patients since it opened.

Dr. Angelo Salvucci, medical director of Ventura County Emergency Medical Services, spoke about how valuable trauma centers are.

'Los Robles has been a leader in openly accepting all trauma patients anytime from anywhere, and that has been instrumental in saving lives,' Salvucci said.

Another former patient, 19-year-old Kyle Roche of Moorpark, attended the event with his parents, Denise and Rob Roche, and his sister, Kelsie.

In March last year, the then-senior at Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village was treated after falling into a ravine at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks and suffering a severe head injury.

His neurosurgeon, Dr. Kapil Moza, described how the teenager had a severe skull fracture with bruising to the brain.

The doctor had to perform a craniotomy, removing the shattered bone on the left side of his head and alleviating the bleeding in the brain. Doctors eventually replaced the bone in the skull, holding it together with a metal mesh.

'It means everything, the fact that he is whole and healthy today. We are so grateful to this team here,' Denise Roche said.

Kyle Roche graduated from high school and is now studying theology at California Baptist University in Riverside.

'They didn't think he would be going away to college at all this coming year, but he went and he's getting all A's and B's. So the fact that he can be successful in school is a miracle,' said his mom.

The only lingering ef fect is that his sense of smell hasn't returned, something he says is a small price to pay.

'A year later, I am basically myself again. It's awesome,' he said.

'It was important for me to be here today because, for me, it's like a closing chapter of this whole experience and to thank them for what they did while I was here and how they handled not just my accident but my family while I was here.'


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