South Side Mothers and Youth to March 10 miles to Nearest Trauma Center
Photo by Maureen Murphy via flickr
On Saturday, May 12 at 12:30 p.m., in an effort to bring awareness to the lack of trauma centers in the South Side of the city, victims’ mothers, youth and students will march from 61st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue to the nearest trauma center 10 miles away, Northwestern Memorial Hospital 251 E. Huron St.
The first stop of the march will be the University of Chicago Hospital where victims’ mothers, doctors, nurses, youth and students will demand the university reopen their trauma center. The last stop will be Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“We are marching to show the distance it takes to get the nearest trauma center and to show that we will not give up, we will march hundreds of miles if we have to, we will march until our feet give out and even then we won’t stop until we get a trauma center,” said Victoria Crider, 16, of Fearless Leading by the Youth, the group organizing the march.
The 10 mile march is the latest in a series of actions led by Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) and University of Chicago students demanding the University of Chicago reopen their trauma center.
The trauma center campaign was started after Damian Turner, who co-founded Fearless Leading by the Youth, was shot by a stray bullet 4 blocks away from the University of Chicago Hospital but was taken all the way to Northwestern Hospital, where he died, because there is not a single adult trauma center on the South Side. Recent studies have found ambulance transport times on the South Side to be far greater than those on the North Side and a soon to be published study by Dr. Marie Crandall of Northwestern Hospital shows that shorter transport times saves lives.
The University of Chicago Hospital closed its trauma center in 1988, causing a domino effect that led to the current trauma center desert on the south side of Chicago. Trauma centers are emergency rooms that have an available operating room and surgical team ready to treat life-threatening injuries at a moment’s notice.