On Jan. 24, 2009, Shands-Jacksonville Trauma One recognized some local heroes. A hero is defined as a person admired for achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage. In this case, hero refers to the men and women in the Jacksonville area who care for trauma victims and provide support for their families.
This year, Corporal Greg Cohn and Trooper C.J. Frazier, two members of the Florida Highway Patrol, were recognized for their investigation of two crashes that occurred in St. Johns County. A Night for Heroes is a special gala held at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium in Jacksonville to honor everyone who assisted in a serious injury crash. Everyone is publically recognized for their contributions, from the investigating officers, to all responding fire/rescue personnel, to the emergency room doctors and nurses, including hospital floor doctors and nurses, to the rehabilitation personnel, and many others who were ultimately involved in the injured persons’ recoveries.
The two crashes recognized by Shands-Jacksonville Trauma One:
A 19-year old male was driving an SUV alone when he drove his vehicle off the roadway, striking a utility pole, passing through a fence, and, ultimately, crashing into two trees. The young man was flown to Shands-Jacksonville with a traumatic brain injury, broken nose, collapsed lung, and a deep laceration on the left side of his head. It took 13 days before he could open his eyes. After a month in the hospital, he was transferred to Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital for another 3 ½ weeks of rehab before he could walk on his own. He has since returned to classes at Florida Community College, and because of the excellent care he received during his recovery, is studying to be an occupational therapist.
A female was driving home in a late-night rainstorm when she lost control of her van. She was ejected from her vehicle when it overturned in the median. The poor weather prevented her from being air-lifted to Shands so she was taken to the local hospital. Once there, physicians determined that she needed Level 1 trauma care for a severe brain injury, fractured spine, multiple facial fractures, and serious injuries to her left foot. She was then rushed to Shands-Jacksonville for surgery. After a month in the hospital, she was discharged, but required 24-hour nurse assistance at home. One year later, she is making progress and has recently returned to work.
In each of the two crashes highlighted, a total of 115 people were involved in some way in the crash victims’ recoveries. A Night for Heroes honors those who did their jobs, and continue to do so each and every day because they care. We are proud of our FHP members who did their part to help save lives.