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Crystal Ball raises $100,000

May 01, 2010|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN -- Two years ago, Josefa "Sefy" Febus was a senior at North Hagerstown High School looking forward to prom and graduation.

On the evening of May 18, 2008, she was driving home from her boyfriend's house when her plans were abruptly altered. Her prom dress would hang unworn in her closet and attending graduation was iffy.

"I flipped my car and hit a utility pole. I don't know what happened. I can't remember," said Febus, now 19.

What she does remember in clear detail is the extent of her injuries, which included a broken collarbone and shoulder bone, seven broken ribs, two separate pelvic fractures, a ruptured spleen and a punctured lung.

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"I needed 41 units of blood and plasma. I used a breathing tube for 11 days. I was in the hospital for 28 days and used a wheelchair for a month after that," she said.

Sporting the dress she never got to wear to the prom, Febus shared her ordeal Saturday night at the Antietam Healthcare Foundation's 16th annual Crystal Ball at Robinwood Medical Center.

Febus said she believes Washington County Hospital sometimes gets a bad rap. She wanted to share her opinion of the trauma care she received with the roughly 275 people who attended the event.

"(The medical staff) was so understanding and helpful and compassionate," she said. "And I can be emotional, so that's good."

Trauma surgeon Marc E. Kross, M.D., treated Febus the night of her accident. Kross said her story exemplifies the quality of care the hospital aspires to provide as it prepares to open the doors of its new facility, Meritus Regional Medical Center, later this year.

Sandra Pollack, executive director of the Antietam Healthcare Foundation, said the ball raised around $100,000, which would benefit the capital fundraising campaign for the new hospital. The organization had set a $16 million goal and has raised about $14.5 million toward that, she said. The Crystal Ball served as the official kickoff of the final phase of the campaign, entitled The Friends and Community Division.

James P. Hamill, president and chief executive officer of the Washington County Health System, said the new hospital facility is about 80 percent complete.

"The building is starting to breathe on its own, and we are excited about that," Hamill said. "In 224 days, on Dec. 11, we will move in patients."

Event Chairman James G. Newby, M.D., said in seeking a fun, exotic treat for hospital supporters, the ball planning committee settled upon a theme of "Arriba Espana," a celebration of Spanish culture.

For advice on authentic decor and cuisine to music and dancing, Newby said he knew just the woman to turn to. Zita Garazo, mother of Henry Garazo, M.D., is "quite the Spanish lady," Newby said.

Guests were greeted by women in festive dresses who "wore" round tables on wheels and served sangria, a traditional Spanish wine punch. During cocktail hour in the taverna, servers offered tapas and live musicians played classical guitar.

"The whole atmosphere is a little exotic and just perfect," Newby said. "Zita just came to me and said, 'John, I am in Spain.'"

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