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Thanks to trauma specialists, Ryan’s back in the game

And helped her team make it to their first Class AAA state final.

Two years ago, Ryan Brouse, 16, and a friend were severely injured when they were ejected from a car that crashed into a utility pole. Not only was Ryan’s liver nearly cut in half, but she also had a traumatic brain injury, a fractured pelvis and other injuries.

“Luckily, I was taken by Life Flight® to Geisinger, which probably saved my life,” says Ryan, who lives in Lewisburg, Pa. “They said that it was a matter of five minutes that could have meant life or death.”

“I don’t think they thought she was going to make it,” says Ryan’s mother Angie Brouse, cofounder of a cat rescue facility in Lewisburg and a regional director for Geisinger Health Foundation. “They told us, ‘We'll let you know if you need to kiss your child goodbye. We're going to do everything we can.’”

Backed by a compassionate care team

After arriving at the Level I Trauma Center at Geisinger Medical Center, Ryan spent 12 days total in the Danville hospital. It was the beginning of a long recovery.

“My first memories are just being in the hospital bed, seeing my parents. And I just remember all of the nurses being so sweet to me and really helping me,” she says. “I didn’t want to wake up. They just pushed me to help me get through it, and walk, and push through everything I've been through. And I really appreciated all their support.”

One of the nurses, knowing Ryan had lost her appetite, asked her what her favorite breakfast was. 

“I told her that I loved smoothies. So the next day, she came in with a smoothie for me and that was one of the first meals that I had in a while,” Ryan says. “And some of the doctors, they still keep in contact with my parents. They'll send them pictures of my prom night, of my softball season.”

Back in the game after a difficult recovery

Ryan, who plays softball as well as field hockey, endured months of recovery and physical therapy. And she made it back to be the starting centerfielder for the Lewisburg Green Dragons.

“It was definitely weird going from being in really good shape, being successful in my sports, to just having to start over,” she says. “It was hard having to relearn basic things. I lost a lot of my speed with running, so I had to work really hard at that and do a lot of sprints just to try to get back there.”

Her family is grateful to have Level I trauma specialty care close to home at Geisinger Medical Center.

“Geisinger gave me my daughter back and Geisinger gave her the ability to live a life that is going to be amazing,” says Ms. Brouse. “Our job now is to preach the message of how lucky we are to have this facility. To have everything you need right here in central Pennsylvania.”

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