UNC: WHEN THINGS GO RIGHT — THE PAIGE WINTER STORY

article by Carol Durham

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s QSEN Institute Regional Center held its inaugural event When Things Go Right: The Paige Winter Story on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The well-attended webinar focused on patient safety – when things go right (Safety II) versus when things end tragically or go wrong (Safety I), and featured Paige Winter and her father, Charlie Winter, who told their first-person account of Paige’s devastating encounter with a shark in waist-deep water on the shore of the North Carolina coast in June 2019. Paige was 17 years old at the time.

The webinar highlighted the importance of coordinated care to the safety and well-being of the patient and their family not only at the moment of the injury, but in the weeks and months after as they resume their lives. Their story illustrated the value of teamwork and collaboration evident from the moment that a friend noticed Paige was being pulled underwater to present day. Using a storytelling approach, Paige and her family emphasized that every member of the team has an important role to play and highlighted heroes visible and behind the scenes who helped save Paige from her acute injuries, and continue to assist her in her recovery journey. Members of Paige’s care team joined as panelists to share additional components of her journey of recovery. Sam Passour, OT, a certified hand therapist with Vidant Health and Mike Truesdale with East Carolina Brace & Limb provided thought-provoking examples of Paige’s determination, courage and positive attitude as she moved through therapy. John Riley, a UNC-CH School of Medicine student highlighted the Stop the Bleed national initiative and the important training for the lay public as well as the medical community to know how to Stop the Bleed when a trauma has occurred.

The event ended with a presentation by UNC-Chapel Hill associate professor and marine scientist, Joel Fodrie, who discussed the 50 years of research the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences has conducted on sharks, including some characteristics of shark behavior and the seasonality of their movements. 

Paige inspired the interprofessional audience with her story of courage, resilience, and determination. We are excited to follow this young woman as she continues to inspire those with whom she interacts. 

Below is the flyer for the event held on April 15, 2021