For­mer trauma pa­tients happy to be alive

South Florid­i­ans tell of sur­viv­ing shoot­ings, ac­ci­dents

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - LOCAL - By Linda Trischitta Staff writer

Spencer Whittle lifted his shirt to show a zip­per scar that stretches the length of his torso, a re­minder of be­ing shot seven times and life-saving surgery by his trauma team.

“This hos­pi­tal I think has to be blessed or some­thing, be­cause ev­ery­one in here, some­how or an­other from what it seems, had a mir­a­cle hap­pen to them,” Whittle, 26, of Sun­rise, said Wed­nes­day.

He spoke dur­ing a lun­cheon for a dozen for­mer trauma pa­tients of Me­mo­rial Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Hol­ly­wood, who vis­ited with their EMS res­cuers, doc­tors, nurses and other staff.

The for­mer pa­tients re­ceived trau­ma­sur­vivor medals. They and their rel­a­tives ex­pressed sim­i­lar feel­ings: A faith in God, grat­i­tude for their lives and the care they re­ceived, from the sur­geons to the house­keep­ers; for sup­port from loved ones and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for donors of blood and platelets.

Whittle was hang­ing out with friends in a Mi­ra­mar park 13 months ago when he was struck by bul­lets in “some gang ini­ti­a­tion, no­body re­ally knows what hap­pened,” he said about be­ing in the “wrong place, wrong time.”

He cred­ited liver spe­cial­ist Dr. Tjasa Hran­jec, with saving his life.

“I was told that if Dr. T. was not on staff, I prob­a­bly would have not made it,” said Whittle, who wants to com­plete his ed­u­ca­tion and work in health care or vet­eri­nary medicine. “One of the bul­lets burned up my liver.”


Coast Guard fire­fighter Alexan­der Holmes, his girl­friend, Ade­line Wil­son, left, and his mother, Frida Holmes, thank staff at Me­mo­rial Re­gional Hos­pi­tal for saving his life.

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