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Maricopa Health Foundation’s Second Night of Heroes Told the Heroic and Inspiring Story of Timothy Schlappi

The Navy Parachute Rigger’s Life was Saved and Changed forever by the Trauma Team and Caring Staff at Maricopa Integrated Health System

PHOENIX – On April 26, 2018, approximately 300 guests gathered at the Phoenix Art Museum for the Maricopa Health Foundation’s second annual Night of Heroes event. The purpose of the evening is to celebrate a heroic patient story and recognize the Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) doctors, nurses, employees and community first responders who are behind-the-scenes heroes each day.

This year’s honorees were Navy Petty Officer First Class Timothy Schlappi, an FAA Master Parachute Rigger with more than 1,300 jumps and his wife Lacey Schlappi. The two married at the hospital in 2009 after Tim’s life-changing sky diving injury during a routine Navy training mission in Eloy, Arizona.

Emceed by the multiple Emmy-award winning Tara Hitchcock, guests heard the story of Tim’s unthinkable accident, the care he received at Maricopa Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center led by Dr. Sydney Vail, and his recovery journey through amputation and return to active duty military service. Since the life-changing day in 2009, Tim has logged more than 400 post-accident jumps and the couple helps other wounded warriors face life after amputation.

Others recognized included, Heather Santiago, RN, the Air Evac Flight Nurse in 2009 who first cared for Tim, Dr. Anne Klemens, the MIHS general surgery resident during Tim’s ICU stay, now MIHS’ Chief of Vascular Surgery, and Dr. Gail Torres, the hospital chaplain who officiated Tim and Lacey’s hospital wedding. A highlight of the evening was a surprise reunion with Tim’s longtime friend, Navy veteran Curtis Larsen, who was on the jump with him August 10, 2009 and served as Tim and Lacey’s best man. It was Tim and Lacey’s first time back in Phoenix from Virginia to thank the MIHS medical team who saved Tim’s life and coordinated their wedding.

Speakers on behalf of the Maricopa Health Foundation and Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) included:

  • Steve Purves, President and CEO, Maricopa Integrated Health System
  • Nate Lowrie, CEO, Maricopa Health Foundation
  • Mark Dewane, Maricopa County Special Health Care District, District 2 Director and Maricopa Health Foundation Board Member.

Each guest left the event with a tourniquet training kit and invitation to a June 1, 2018 Stop the Bleed training event led by Dr. Sydney Vail – a ripple effect of the evening.

Special thanks to all involved in the memorable night sharing the story of lives forever touched as the result of an unexpected journey.

The Inaugural Night of Heroes in 2017 honored Retired Phoenix Police Officer Jason Schechterle, the physicians from the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Integrated Health System who saved his life (Dr. Kevin Foster and the late Dr. Dan Caruso) and Pat McGroder, the Arizona attorney who led the legal fight to help save other first responders nationwide.

The Maricopa Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting Maricopa Integrated Health System, the Valley’s only public health care system. The Foundation raises funds to improve accessibility, quality of health care and patient comfort for those who live in Maricopa County and beyond. Money raised by the Foundation supports the following MIHS facilities and programs: Maricopa Medical Center, The Arizona Burn Center, Arizona Children’s Center, MIHS Behavioral Health Programs, The MIHS Breast Clinic, MIHS Chaplaincy Programs, Labor and Delivery, A Level 1 Trauma Center (serving both children and adults), Specialty Care, Mariposa: Wings to Safety Domestic Violence Clinic, The Phoenix Cancer Center, The Refugee Women’s Clinic and 13 Family Health Centers across Maricopa County.

Contact: Maricopa Health Foundation
Marcia Scott – 602-451-4550

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