Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Amanda Reif, Gunshot Injury
June 18 was New York State Trooper Amanda Reif’s 29th birthday. It was also the day she almost lost her life.
It all started soon after she responded to a “routine” domestic dispute in a Potsdam, NY home.
When she reached the front door, she saw the barrel of a 50-caliber rifle. Seconds later, she felt the bullets hit her in the upper chest.
At first, there was no pain – only shock and confusion – as she lay on the ground, unable to move her left side. The next thing she knew, a man was standing over her with a shotgun.
“Do not shoot me again,” she ordered. He pulled the trigger. But the gun failed to discharge.
Seconds later, the police and ambulance arrived. From the ground,
Amanda watched the man confront the officers. She pulled out her gun with her right hand and shot him.
“My instinct was to protect my fellow officers,” she said.
Within a few minutes, she was on her way to Canton-Potsdam Hospital
Emergency Department, where she was stabilized. Because her injuries were life-threatening, she was airlifted to Fletcher Allen, a Level I Trauma Center.
Amanda had suffered multiple injuries – a broken shoulder blade, two fractured ribs, and a collapsed left lung.
She spent the first two nights in the intensive care unit (ICU) – a multidisciplinary unit where intensive care physicians work closely with nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, the palliative care team, ethics, and multiple other specialties to provide care for our sickest patients.
On June 21, Trauma Surgeon Bruce Crookes, M.D., surgically removed the two bullets lodged in Amanda’s upper chest.
Following surgery, she was moved to a medical/surgical unit, where her condition continued to be closely monitored.
Today, Amanda is home with her 14-month-old son Kyle and husband Brad, a state corrections officer.
In spite of some nerve damage to her left arm, she is slowly regaining strength and looks forward to returning to work.
“Dr. Crookes talked to me and helped me understand everything that was going on at a very frightening time,” she said. “I’m very grateful to him – and to everyone at the hospital – for helping me through this.”