‘Nobody’s Dying Today’

Nursing assistant Katelyn Losquadro stopped to help an injured driver of a single-car accident. That decision changed both of their lives.

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Later that night, Losquadro reached out to Gault’s mother through Facebook Messenger. “I think you have been looking for me,” she wrote. She described having taken care of Gault at the accident scene.

“Wow!!” Robyn replied. She left her phone number. “Call when you can.” They agreed to meet at Inova Fairfax and allow a Fox 5 crew to do a story about them. A picture Robyn posted on Facebook shows Losquadro with her arm around Gault in his hospital bed as he smiles and gives a thumbs-up with a bandaged hand.

Gault’s parents started exchanging texts and Facebook messages with Losquadro. The family went out to dinner with her. Chris and Robyn established a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $10,000 to help fund Losquadro’s nursing studies. “Our son, Matt, was in a bad automobile accident,” the couple wrote on the GoFundMe page. Katelyn, they explained, “took control of the situation and saved his life by controlling his blood loss, calming him down and making sure he was in a position so he would not possibly be paralyzed. Katelyn is now considered his ‘angel.’ ” The fund raised $11,175.

“Accepting that GoFundMe money was hard for me,” says Losquadro, who wasn’t accustomed to receiving generosity from others. “I had $600 to my name when the accident happened.” The Gaults also contacted a friend at Shady Grove hospital who helped her land the ER job she’d applied for earlier.

“I’ve had a rough go of it in life,”Losquadro says. “I feel bad that I got so much positivity out of such an awful situation. Matt lost his leg, and he’s going to have a long road of recovery. My life has done a 180 and improved for the better.”

For Gault, his first surgery in the hours after the accident was only the beginning. He’s had about a dozen operations since then, and may face more as doctors try to save as much of his leg as possible. His spine was fractured in three places. He went home after spending two weeks in the hospital, but had to return when he developed an infection. A fall didn’t help matters. “We weren’t out of the woods for so long,” Robyn says. “We kept praying he would keep that knee. It was two steps forward, one step back.”

Gault may still be months away from being fitted with a prosthetic leg, but his parents say he’s tried to remain upbeat. He’s gone hiking on his crutches, and he’s working out with a personal trainer who also lost part of a leg. Gault hopes to return to skiing soon and eventually to compete in the Paralympics.

He can do it, says Gault’s trainer, Chris Tate, who owns Conquer Fitness in Rockville. Tate was 23 when he lost part of his left leg after a drunk driver hit him while he was riding a dirt bike near a friend’s house. In the nearly eight years since, he’s become a top finisher in regional 5K runs, and he’s far faster now than when he had both legs, he says. “He already has the drive, mentally,” Tate says of Gault. “Now, physically, we gotta get to work.”

Losquadro has a long road ahead of her, too. She has three more years of school before she’ll get the bachelor’s degree that will allow her to become a trauma nurse. In the meantime, she’s working the overnight shift as a nursing assistant at Shady Grove, caring for the early-morning trauma patients who come through the doors. “A lot of good has come to me out of a tragic situation,” she says. “I have only just begun to live my life.” 

David Frey, who lives in Gaithersburg, is managing editor at The Wildlife Society and a freelance writer.

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