On Wednesday, May 22, former patients of the Trauma Center at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center and MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach came together in support of each other and to reflect on all their journeys toward recovery.

The Trauma Survivors Reunion reunites patients and their loved ones with the physicians, care teams and emergency first responders who helped them in their moment of tragedy. Members of their care teams have been there with them from their time of admission in the Trauma Center through recovery in rehabilitation.

The Trauma Center at Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s treats more than 1,700 trauma patients each year, saving the lives of patients of all ages in both Los Angeles and Orange County.

“Timeliness is key in trauma situations and we work closely with our first responders to quickly assess, diagnose and treat our trauma patients,” says Desiree Thomas, program director, Trauma Services, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Our trauma care team provides multi-disciplinary care coordination for our patients throughout their experience. We work so close with each of our patients and their loved ones that it’s really special for the care teams and first responders to see how all of these amazing people have progressed so much on their journey of healing.”

The Trauma Survivors Reunion allows patients and their families to connect with others who have gone through similar experiences and hardships. Patients share their stories of determination and survival as a form of therapy and to inspire others who have experienced similar traumas to push through in recovery.

One such story, came from, Emery Hernandez, 10, who after a major car accident was rushed to the Trauma Center at Miller Children’s & Women’s. Emery’s injuries would require surgery and a lengthy stay in both the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Rehabilitation.

“We spent almost three months at Miller Children’s & Women’s and the trauma care team was part of Emery’s recovery throughout her stay,” says Emery’s mom, Sugei Banuelos. “As a family we have been looking forward for this reunion for weeks now. Emery is back to her everyday life thanks to all these amazing people. To see and be able to hug and thank all the first responders, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, and everyone who was a part of Emery’s fight, its amazing.”

The event also highlights the importance of blood donation and the need for support from the community. One trauma patient can go through as much as 130 units of blood and at least eight platelet donors. This is why blood donation is critical to ensuring a stable blood product supply is always available. To learn how you can make a difference in your community through blood donation, schedule an appointment at millerchildrens.org/BloodDonorCenter.


Emery Hernandez, 10, and her family with some of the physicians and care team who treated her after a near-fatal car accident.


The Trauma Reunion was filled with emotion as care team members and patients embraced. It was a special evening that allowed patients to catch up with the people who helped them heal.


Erika Santos was rushed to the Trauma Center at Miller Children’s & Women’s after complications with her pregnancy left her fighting for her life. Her son Joaquin was delivered 27 minutes after Erika arrived in the Trauma Center. She was able to reconnect with care team members who helped save both her and Joaquin’s life.