St. Joseph's Hospital's Multidisciplinary Trauma Team Helps Save Local Business Owner's Life

May 21, 2024
A man and women pose standing in a nightclub.
Ric Yambura and his longtime girlfriend, McKayla Phillips.


The St. Joseph’s Hospital's Trauma Center is a state-designated level 2 trauma center with the experience and capability to treat some of the most seriously ill or injured patients in our community. When Ric Yambura was brought into the trauma center with severe injuries from a car accident, a committed team of surgeons and other clinicians worked diligently to save his life. 

Yambura, part-owner of the popular Dallas Bull nightclub in Tampa, was returning home after a shift in late November, when he was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver on an interstate exit ramp. Luckily, an off-duty police officer witnessed the crash and pulled Yambura from his burning car. 

An initial assessment by St. Jospeh's Hospital's emergency and trauma teams revealed multiple life-threatening injuries including severe blunt abdominal trauma that displaced his diaphragm and other major abdominal organs; extensive pelvic fractures that required significant blood transfusions and other lifesaving interventions including immediate surgery; and other fractures and chest injuries. Four physicians performed the three surgeries needed to save Yambura’s life.

A man lays in a hospital bed with medical equipment attached to him in critical condition.
Yambura recovers from his injuries at St. Joseph's Hospital's Trauma Center.


“Ric’s injuries were so severe that he required the specialized treatment provided by our trauma team," said Dr. Daniel Jurusz, BayCare Medical Group trauma surgeon at St. Joseph's Hospital JH. “He needed rapid assessment and treatment including emergent operative care by multiple surgical specialists.” 

“When I arrived at the hospital, Ric was already in surgery,” added McKayla Phillips, Yambura’s longtime girlfriend. “We didn’t know it was going to be 10 hours until he was out of the operating room.” 

Yambura underwent multiple surgeries to repair the numerous injuries sustained in the accident.  

“Altogether, I had a fractured foot, fractured hand, broken nose, broken pelvis, broken femur, wired ribs and cut liver,” said Yambura. “The majority of my organs in my stomach had to be put back into place as well.” 

Yambura sustained an open book pelvis fracture where the pelvic bone is broken into two or more separating pieces. It can cause major bleeding, injuries to blood vessels, organs or the nervous system and, in some cases, the bone fragments can protrude through the skin. 

Yambura’s condition was stabilized, but his recovery journey had just begun. He would spend three months in the hospital, his stay eased by the fantastic nursing staff on his unit. 

“The nursing staff from beginning to end was amazing,” said Phillips. “I was there almost every day, and throughout the whole ordeal, we were treated with care as Ric recovered.”  

“There was one nurse in particular named Wanda, who has worked at St. Jospeh's Hospital for some time and her care was amazing,” said Yambura. “I made sure to give her flowers on her birthday.”  

Despite the severity of his injuries and the complexities of his treatment, Yambura continues to make progress in his recovery. He is actively engaged in physical therapy, gradually regaining function and mobility. From the moment Yambura arrived at the hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital's continuity of care was instrumental in his ongoing care.

A man walking with a walker is assisted by a nurse.
Yambura continues his recovery with help from St. Joseph's Hospital's clinical staff.


“The goal of our trauma program is to not only save lives but to optimize outcomes, including restoring patients to their pre-injury quality of life. This case is an example of how our St. Joseph’s Hospital team utilizes its expertise and training to make a difference for severely injured patients,” said Nikki Diaz-White, St. Joseph's Hospital's JH director of Emergency Trauma Services. 

Yambura’s recovery journey is far from over, but through the support of his loved ones and the continued excellence of the St. Joseph's Hospital's clinical staff, he is optimistic and determined to make a full recovery. 

 For more information about St. Joseph's Hospital's trauma services, visit Emergency Care in Tampa, Florida.

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