INDIAN TRAIL, NC (WBTV) - "My oldest son was involved in a horrific motor vehicle accident July 24th, 2015," said Laura Patyk. "He shouldn't be alive, but is."
Last year Laura's son, Bryson, swerved to miss a truck on I-485 near the 85 exit. It sent him sliding off the shoulder. As he corrected, he slammed into the rear of a flatbed tractor trailer parked on the side of the road.
"He should've died," said Laura. "He was cut out of the car, airlifted to CMC-Main and later airlifted to UNC Hospital for burns from the engine fluid washing over his face."
Bryson had a brain injury, broken TMJ joint, collapsed lung, lacerated liver and third degree burns. He spent six weeks in the hospital before returning home to Indian Trail.
All this makes his survival an interesting story. But there's more.
Bryson's wallet was lost in the accident so he was registered at the hospital as "Trauma Papa". No one knew his name.
Meantime, Bryson's parents were at NC State University? with his sister for her orientation, so he remained "Trauma Papa" for hours. Through a maze of calls and people, they were tracked down and rushed back to Charlotte. Ten minutes from CMC-Main, they were told he was being airlifted to Chapel Hill. They turned around to rush back in the other direction.
When twelve minutes from Chapel Hill, the trauma team discovered a hole in Byson's duodenum that was leaking. They took him to surgery before his parents ever walked in. Laura says she wasn't sure they'd ever see him again.
Fast forward to tomorrow.
Sunday is Bryson's one-year "Survivorsary".
"I made up that name," Laura said. "He's a 'survivor' in every sense of the word. He's now 20 years old and back at NC State. We've met the Med Center Air flight crews who flew him, the firefighters who cut him out of the car and a Good Samaritan who stopped to pray with him while he was trapped."
She also started a Praying For Bryson? Facebook page.
"I just want to remind you of the many GOOD people out there," Laura said. "This week I called two of the witnesses on the accident report. Neither knew he'd survived. Both said he had been on their minds the entire past year."
The family is marking the importance of tomorrow with a lunch party at their church, Faith United Methodist. Enjoy the celebration... a "Survivorsary" is certainly something to celebrate.