Pre-hospital care providers rarely get to meet a patient whose life they were able to save — but last month Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps members had the chance to meet a young man who was critically injured in a Manorville crash late one night in June.
RVAC Chief Bill Wilkinson and Assistant Chief Mike Caron found 25-year-old Nick Coutts of Southold lying in the roadway on Wading River Manor and Schultz roads, when they were dispatched to an 11:20 p.m. call on June 7 for a motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle.
A Suffolk County Police Medivac helicopter was dispatched to transport the injured man to Stony Brook as RVAC EMTs went to work to stabilize Nick and prepare him for the transport. With the assistance of Northwell Health Paramedic Mike Spingola and members of the Manorville Fire Department, RVAC members loaded into the ambulance to take him to the helicopter landing zone on the former Grumman property — EMTs working to manage his injuries en route.
“It became clear that time was becoming a critical factor,” Caron said.
The ambulance crew found the helicopter waiting when they arrived at the landing zone.
The flight paramedic boarded the ambulance to evaluate Coutts’ condition and the severity of his injuries, Caron said.
Coutts’ airway was secured with an endotracheal tube and he was loaded aboard the helicopter and transported to Stony Brook University Hospital.
After the accident, Coutts spent a great deal of time in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook, where he underwent multiple operations. As his condition improved, he began to breathe on his own and had the endotracheal tube removed. He regained consciousness and began to talk again. After an extensive stay at Stony Brook, Coutts was transferred to Saint Charles Hospital for further orthopedic rehabilitation, where he regained the ability to walk. He has since been discharged from Saint Charles and is continuing his recovery at home. His condition improves each day. He is still using crutches to get around but hopes he will no longer need them in the near future.
If it had not been for the quick and decisive actions of all of those involved and a quality motorcycle helmet, Nick’s outcome may have been gravely different.
The young man visited RVAC headquarters on Aug. 12 to say thank you to the people who saved his life.
He even brought cupcakes.
Source: Press release issued by Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps
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