May 18, 2022) – As the nation recognizes National Trauma Survivors Day on Wednesday, May 18, Floridians who survived significant traumatic injuries and recovered at HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals are sharing their stories of inspiration while offering words of encouragement for others going through the recovery process.
After Suffering Multiple Injuries When Pinned by Car, 84-Year-Old Osceola Resident Fulfills Goal of Returning to Golf
In July 2020, Ron Marble and his wife were volunteering at a local food bank when he was hit by a car and tragically pinned between the car and a concrete wall causing a variety of life-threatening injuries.
He spent the next six weeks at HCA Florida Osceola Hospital recovering from extensive injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, ruptured bladder, fractured pelvis, broken ankle and a loss of soft tissue on an upper arm. His injuries required multiple surgeries and a lengthy stay in the trauma ICU.
As he started the recovery process, Ron set one goal for himself – to heal and gain enough strength so he could continue golfing. Eventually, he was cleared to go home, continuing therapy as an outpatient. Seven months following his accident, he achieved his goal to play golf again. Today, at age 84, he is back to playing in his golf league every week.
“The only thing I wanted to do was get well enough to play golf,” Ron recalls. “That was my inspiration and my goal, and I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have the right therapists forcing me to do my rehab, even on the bad days.”
With His Life Torn Apart by a Drunk Driver, Former Jacksonville Sheriff Offers Encouraging Words for Trauma Survivors
One minute former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Jack Adams was driving his wife, a fellow Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer, and their two children from a ballgame back in December 2018. The next minute, all that changed when a drunk driver crashed into their car, killing Jack’s wife of 17 years while leaving him with a broken neck and damaged spinal cord. The children survived.
He received care at Jacksonville’s HCA Florida Memorial Hospital and today, with regained function in his arms and legs, he tells others to never stop fighting.
“It would be very easy to fall into a state of depression and get this ‘why did it happen to me?’ kind of feeling, but you have to persevere, you have to continue moving forward,” Jack says.
“I want to encourage fellow trauma survivors, if you’re just starting the journey to recovery or if you’ve been at it for a few years, keep persevering, keep pushing forward, and keep a great mental attitude,” he adds.
Tik Tok Challenge Turns Tragic for Orlando Youngster
One year ago, 12-year-old Nick Howell was severely burned while attempting a Tik Tok challenge in his Orlando-area home. Nick was promptly airlifted to the Pediatric Burn Unit at Miami’s Kendall Regional Medical Center, one of Florida’s top burn programs, where he spent two months recovering from third-degree burns on his legs, arms and hands.
“Nick’s story is a nightmare for parents, and when he first came in, we knew this would be a tough case for us,” said Dr. Haaris Mir, MD, chief of burn treatment at Kendall Regional Medical Center’s Burn and Reconstructive Center. “Our ICU team immediately sprang into action to give Nick a second chance at life, and one year later we’re happy to report we’ve done just that.”
Today, Nick and his family remain connected to the hospital’s staff and help educate others on how to avoid similar accidents.
“Dr. Mir and all the clinicians helped my baby through the toughest times of his life and mine,” said Stela Howell, Nick’s mom. “Everyone – and I mean everyone – from the surgeons, nurses and the child life specialist to the security guards made it such a hopeful experience. I’m forever indebted to them!”
Tampa-Area Golf Vacation Turns Troublesome
A Tampa-area golf getaway with friends was going wonderfully for retired Maryland State Trooper Bruce Rafer.
Even though the 79-year-old from La Plata, Maryland had previous medical issues, his wife Bonnie was confident all would be well. That is, until she received a phone call from one of his friends that Bruce became ill and incoherent while playing golf on the trip.
Fearing a stroke, they called for an ambulance. As he was taken away, his golfing friends had the foresight to pull Bruce’s wallet out of his golf bag to ensure medical teams had his identification. The wallet also contained his list of medications which provided critical information for the trauma team at HCA Florida Bayonet Point in Hudson north of Tampa.
After Bonnie arrived in Tampa and spoke in more detail with those on the trip, the episode they described on the golf course reminded her of a seizure Bruce experienced due to a brain tumor which had since been removed years ago.
“I relayed to the medical team what I learned from his golfing friends,” Bonnie recalled. “The doctors were so good at taking little bits of information and rolling it into the perfect care. It turned out not to be a stroke after all, but another seizure which could be addressed with medication.”
Florida Is Home to Dozens of Trauma Centers
Their stories are not unique. Each year in the United States, traumatic injury, or sudden physical injury requiring immediate medical attention, accounts for tens of millions of emergency department visits and millions of hospital admissions.
Fortunately, Florida is home to dozens of trauma centers including HCA Florida Healthcare’s 11 trauma centers across the state where positive outcomes consistently exceed the national average. These are in addition to hundreds of trauma care experts who work in collaboration with emergency care providers throughout HCA Florida Healthcare’s statewide system.
About HCA Florida Healthcare
HCA Florida Healthcare, a part of HCA Healthcare, is a family of more than 570 affiliated sites of care, including hospitals, physician practices and freestanding emergency rooms. United as a statewide network in 2021, HCA Florida Healthcare includes approximately 11,000 experienced doctors and 77,000 colleagues working together to deliver advanced, collaborative care to more than 6.4 million patients each year. HCA Florida Healthcare is committed to improving more lives in more ways and giving back to the communities it serves. The network provided nearly $836.6 million in uncompensated care and invested significantly in innovative technologies and facilities across Florida, including the new $360 million state-of-the-art, multi-specialty HCA Florida University Hospital in Davie, Fla. A strong advocate for the next generation of healthcare professionals, HCA Florida Healthcare is also a major supporter of university-based healthcare programs and residencies and fellowships throughout the Sunshine State. For more information, please visit HCAFloridaHealthcare.com