Story of teen who received lifesaving care from USA Health wins international video award
“Layla’s Story,” a video that captured the determination of a young girl fighting for her life and the hope of her parents during the course of 18 surgeries at University Hospital, has won a Silver Telly, one of the highest honors bestowed by the renowned Telly Awards.
By Michelle Ryan
Layla Jamison, the George County, Mississippi, teen who survived multiple injuries sustained in a deadly highway washout following Hurricane Ida in 2021, shared her story during last year’s A Night Honoring Healers.
But her triumphant journey now extends beyond USA Health’s annual fundraising event that recognizes its medical professionals and local first responders who make surviving traumatic events possible.
“Layla’s Story,” a video filmed for Night Honoring Healers that captured the determination of a young girl fighting for her life and the hope of her parents during the course of 18 surgeries at University Hospital, has won a Silver Telly, one of the highest honors bestowed by the renowned Telly Awards.
“Layla’s accident was such a crazy unimaginable circumstance, just hard to believe,” said producer Greg Lawrence of CRM Studios Louisiana. “Yet she had such a positive attitude and spirit to battle through her injuries. She was an inspiration.”
But her resilience was not the only reason Lawrence selected the video for one of the studio’s Telly Awards submissions this year.
“It involved a lot of elements like hurricane/weather that show how fragile life can be, and then the care she got at USA Health was just so amazing,” he said. “I think our team of cinematographers and editors did a great job of telling her story and showcasing USA Health.”
Jamison suffered many broken bones including her legs, arms and back and internal injuries after the Aug. 30, 2021, collapse of Highway 26 caused by extensive flooding. Three people died, and 10 were injured in the massive pileup of vehicles, some stacked on each other.
“What stands out to me is just the amazing people that are there for you at the worst time of your life,” Lawrence said. “Being able to capture that with our video is really a privilege and honor for us.”
CRM Studios — no stranger to receiving Telly Awards — selects some of its best video projects each year and enters them in the highly competitive awards show.
“The Telly Awards is extremely prestigious in the field of video production,” Lawrence said. “The competition is from all over the world, and the judging is at an extremely high level.”
For John V. Marymont, M.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs, dean of the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama, and the video’s executive director, telling patient stories is important for the academic health system.
“The goal of our Healers video series is to capture how all the teams at USA Health — from physicians, nurses and therapists to nutritionists and environmental services — work together to deliver comprehensive, quality care when every second counts," said Marymont.
Owen Bailey, M.S.H.A., FACHE, USA Health chief executive officer and senior associate vice president for medical affairs, praised the multi-level teamwork of the academic health system and the first responder community that together helps provide seamless, lifesaving care.
“Our healthcare healers stand beside patients, like Layla, helping them through some of the most frightening times of their lives,” he said. “We are grateful for their encouragement, expertise and devotion to serve others as they help them battle back from sickness or serious injury to health.”
After being discharged from University Hospital on Oct. 20, 2021, Jamison spent several months at the Shepherd Center, which offers neurorehabilitation services in Atlanta.
“Overall, I’ve been doing really well and have spent quite a bit of time in therapy,” she said. “My goal now is to help create awareness for people with limited abilities. I’ve noticed that many people seem to overlook accessibility unless they need it, and for lots of places, that’s not acceptable.”
The Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television across all screens, recently announced its 44th annual winners after a record-breaking year for entries. This year, nearly 13,000 entries from across the globe – the most in a decade – were submitted from the U.S., Middle East, U.K. and Canada, as well as Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Sweden, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa.
Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council — an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multi-screen industry The Telly Awards celebrate. All judges have previously won a Silver Telly Award.
Entries do not compete against each other, but instead a high standard of excellence. Based on the ratio of winners over the past several years, approximately 7% to 10% of entrants are chosen as Silver Telly Awards winners.
Founded in 1979 to originally honor commercials made for cable and local TV, The Telly Awards have continually refreshed their categories to honor the evolving, broad range of work being made today, as well as the trends, issues and topical matters each year.
CRM Studios, a full-service video production company, produced Layla’s story under the direction of Marymont; Lawrence, the producer; Kevin Alexander and Colby Doler, both videographers and editors; and videographer Rob Senska.
This year’s A Night Honoring Healers event will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Tickets and sponsorships are available at usahealthsystem.com/healers.