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Lauren Debrauwere Released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Family and Physicians Offer Statements Regarding her Care and Recovery

CHICAGO, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was provided by the family of Lauren Debrauwere, one of several students injured in the February 14 shooting tragedy at Northern Illinois University. Statements from her treating physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as well as Kishwaukee Community Hospital are also included.

Lauren's sister Brittany, mother Mary and step-father Steve, addressed media via a press conference held at Northwestern Memorial earlier today along with Patrick McCarthy, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery and co-director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, prior to Lauren's release from the hospital this afternoon.

Statement from Brittany Debrauwere (sister to Lauren Debrauwere):

"My name is Brittany and I am Lauren Debrauwere's sister. On behalf of Lauren and our family, we want you all to know that we are deeply moved by the outpouring of support that Lauren received following this horrifying and unspeakable event that occurred 12 days ago, at Northern Illinois University, a campus that both my sister and myself have considered our home for the past few years. We can tell you that Lauren is well and she is expected to recover.

"Lauren's recovery has been very difficult and at times, unbearable for her both mentally and physically. She has a tough road ahead of her, but we are humbled and very grateful that we have her with us today, as our hearts are heavy and our prayers go out to the five families who lost their loved ones.

"Lauren and the rest of my family want to extend our gratitude to those who have helped us along the way, as we appreciate the continuous support we have received.

"We thank God for Doctor Stephen Goldman, the Kishwaukee Community Hospital trauma surgeon who saved Lauren's life by providing the initial surgery that stabilized her for her transport to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"We thank God for the Air Angles paramedic flight crew who watched over Lauren while she was being airlifted from Kishwaukee to Chicago, and to Lauren's doctors and nurses here at Northwestern Memorial where Lauren has received and will continue to receive outstanding care.

"We thank God for our immediate family and friends for showing us so much love and for helping us get through this horrible tragedy.

"To everyone who has been praying for Lauren's recovery around the world, please continue to reach out to her; please continue to show her your love, and please continue to keep Lauren and our family in your prayers, as Lauren begins to heal. Thank you."

Statement from Patrick McCarthy, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery; Co-Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and Heller-Sacks Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine:

"Lauren was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a result of a rare injury she sustained to a heart valve caused by a bullet that traveled close to her heart. Lauren is very fortunate however, as it did not penetrate her heart, but rather ruptured a muscle, which subsequently injured the valve and caused it to leak. At this time, Lauren is recovering well. We are preparing for an additional surgery in the weeks ahead. We expect her to make a full recovery."

Statement from Stephen Goldman, MD, trauma surgeon at Kishwaukee Community Hospital:

"Lauren was brought by EMS to Kishwaukee Community Hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound at the NIU campus. In the ED, she was in critical condition with hypotension, tachycardia and requiring a blood transfusion. The entrance wound was in the right mid-abdomen and no exit wound was identified. Lauren was taken immediately from the ED to the OR for emergency surgery. She was found to have an injury to the small intestine, several injuries to the right colon, and an injury to the left side of her liver as well as evidence of the bullet penetrating the diaphragm muscle near the heart. Intra-operative ultrasound was used to evaluate the heart and the only injury seen was to one of the heart valves. Following repair of her abdominal injuries, Lauren's condition stabilized and she was taken to the ICU for further care. She was subsequently transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital via Air Angels for further monitoring of her cardiac injury."

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 897 beds along with 1,424 affiliated physicians and 6,464 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing state-of-the-art patient care and exemplary clinical and surgical advancements in the areas of cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation, and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial received the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and is listed in eight specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2007 rankings for "America's Best Hospitals." For seven years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the nation's "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and has been chosen by Chicagoans for more than a decade as their "most preferred hospital" according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey. Northwestern Memorial carries the Magnet status designation in nursing, the highest recognition possible for patient care and nursing excellence.

SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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