Skip to Content

Man thanks DuBois trauma team that saved his life in job site accident

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — When a normal day quickly turned into a life-or-death situation for a York man working in Centre County, minutes mattered.

Thankfully, a dedicated team answered the call and he’s now thanking the heroes who saved his life. Timothy Richard was working at a job site in Snow Shoe on March 9. What seemed to be an average day changed in seconds.

A hydraulic unit blew and a 4″ by 2″ hydraulic fitting shot through his abdomen below his rib cage and went out his back.

“The projectile was a piece of metal that fits onto this end weighing approximately eight ounces that went through him, sort of like a big shotgun blast,” Acute-Care and Trauma Surgeon at Penn Highlands DuBois Philip S. Vuocolo said.

Co-workers immediately began doing what they could as 911 was called. However, due to conditions, Richard couldn’t be flown. An ambulance picked him up and met a trauma team from Penn Highlands Dubois on an exit.

“They came onto the ambulance and began, basically saving my life,” Richard said.

Richard was rushed to the trauma center and was categorized as a Level A patient. Doctors immediately began to save his life.

“There’s nothing me or my wife can ever do to show them our debt of gratitude. There isn’t something you can purchase, something you could say,” Richard said.

During a meeting with the Trauma Team and emergency services personnel on Tuesday, he expressed gratitude to the team who saved his life.

“It’s a little thing to them, but to me it meant the world that they truly cared about him and to check up on me too,” Tim’s wife Kelly Richard said. “So it’s very difficult for me to see everyone and just, you know, not just start crying because it meant the World to me, their treatment.”

After a few complications after surgery and 10 days in the ICU, Richard was discharged. Although he continues to come to Penn Highlands for treatment and checkups, Tuesday’s visit served as a way to not only say thank you but to give his heroes a bit of reassurance that the work they do day in and day out makes a difference in every life they touch.

“Have the motivation to go out and do it again. That’s why we’re here,” Richard said. “It’s not about us. We’re pretty minuscule in all of this. It’s about people like that every day who have to get up and do it. To see trauma, to see people cry. You don’t always win in this, I’m sure of that. But they still keep a smile on their face and they still remain kind.”

Penn Highlands DuBois is accredited as a Level II Trauma Center by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation. It is the only Level II Trauma Center in Central/Northwestern Pennsylvania.