Christoffersen Family Trauma and Emergency Services Endowment

Christoffersen Family
Trauma and Emergency Services Endowment

In 1985, Rachel Christoffersen was on her way to go sledding with a friend's family, when a crash threw her from the car. Paramedics found her in a culvert and rushed her to Bronson's Level 1 Trauma Center.

Rachel had severe damage to her liver, spleen, and gall bladder. She also had a tear in a vein in her abdomen that carries blood to the heart, and a blood clot in her brain. The trauma team told her parents, Chris and Barbara, that Rachel had a 1% chance of survival.

During surgery, the team working to save Rachel's life used a device for the very first time that would remove, clean and return blood to Rachel’s body. After two weeks in pediatric intensive care, Rachel went on to eventually make a full recovery.

To recognize the life-saving work that made their daughter’s recovery possible, the Christoffersens established the Christoffersen Family Trauma and Emergency Services Endowment.

“We were amazed to see the combined efforts of many people whose expertise, coordination and commitment saved Rachel’s life,” says Chris Christoffersen. “They were truly a miracle, and we will never forget them.” Barbara adds, “Our family is eternally grateful. We received expert and loving care when a member of our family desperately needed it. We will never forget that day and the caretakers will always be in our hearts.”

The Christoffersen Family are eternally grateful to the incredible care team for saving Rachel’s life:

  • Paramedics: Paul Dickens and Guss Morey
  • Surgical team: Dr. Delos Clift, Dr. James Robinson, Dr. Richard Schloemer, Dr. Randy Smejkal, and Dr. Alan McFadden

To learn more about what happened that day 35+ years ago, listen to Rachel's story in her own words.


The endowment will help support:

  • New technologies
  • Purchase and maintenance of new and existing equipment and/or services
  • Education for nurses, physicians and other clinicians
  • Facilities development
  • Innovative models of care

This care team was recognized in a special virtual ceremony to announce the creation of the endowment. You can watch the full ceremony here. Read our news release and View this story on WWMT Channel 3.


The Christoffersen Family invites you to join them by committing additional funds to grow the endowment.

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