Former trauma patients happy to be alive
South Floridians tell of surviving shootings, accidents
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.