Jailisa Reyes suffered injuries in a head-on crash Aug. 29 on Route 8 South in Beacon Falls that would have killed almost everybody in her place — but Reyes was that “one percent,” as doctors would tell her, of people who miraculously could survive such an incident.
Reyes is alive today thanks to an incredibly fast and skillful response by Beacon Hose firefighters and EMTs, who extricated and rapidly transported Reyes from her smashed vehicle, and the heroic efforts of the trauma team at Waterbury Hospital, whose lifesaving interventions included 90 minutes of manual cardiac massage to keep her alive.
This first-ever Beacon Hose documentary shares the unbelievable story of how it all happened and the emotions of meeting each other again.
Reyes was the driver of the vehicle that was involved in a horrific wrong-way crash at 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 29. Upon our arrival on scene — which was within six minutes of dispatch — she was unresponsive and heavily entrapped in the vehicle with a mangled leg and other severe injuries. Beacon Hose firefighters extricated the passenger and Jailisa with unbelievable efficiency to pass her to our EMS crew. The time from dispatch to Jailisa’s arrival at Waterbury Hospital was a lifesaving 33 minutes.
A talented crew in the emergency department at Waterbury Hospital continued the lifesaving efforts. To briefly summarize what happened, Jailisa’s heart stopped beating — the trauma team gave her a great deal of blood and then resorted to cutting open her chest and manually massaging her heart for 90 minutes until she began to stabilize. She was eventually stabilized enough to undergo several surgeries, including an amputation of her left leg below the knee.
It was truly a miraculous outcome, and barely two months after the crash that would have killed more than 99 percent of people who sustained her injuries, Jailisa visited us at Beacon Hose.