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Patient Stories and Testimonials
From the Files of

The Lee Memorial Health System
Trauma Center

"Nothing short of a blessing"

Party, party, party!

That was my initial thought on Dec. 7, 2010. It was Tuesday night and I had just finished a stressful day full of exams and deadlines -- it was time to celebrate.

I was a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University and may as well have been majoring in a partying degree.

However, those unhealthy habits of mine would soon change.

I went out that night with not a care in the world and only one thing on my mind -- to have a good time.

Little did I know, my night was going to end in tragedy.

After rolling my 2002 Mazda Tribute five times, my SUV hit a tree and came to a stop. I was half-way ejected from my sunroof and was air-lifted to Lee Memorial Hospital's Trauma Center.

Being only minutes from my apartment with sober friends willing to pick me up, I chose to get behind the wheel of my car with my best friend after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol that nigh.

With a blood alcohol level of .273 (over three times the legal limit), I am lucky to be alive.

My life was put in the hands of the doctors and medical staff of the Trauma Center. I suffered severe head trauma, which resulted in a wound on the left side of my head about the size of a Coke can, my right ear was stitched back together in numerous spots and my wrist was broken. Thankfully, these are all things that will heal with amazing doctors, time and a large hospital bill.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the legal action that was taken. I was charged with a DUI. In the state of Florida, a DUI stays on your record for a lifetime. It also entails multiple consequences: pricey court fees and fines, a minimum of six months of probation, a suspended license (at a minimum of six months) and lots of community service.

Yes, all of the legal aspects were difficult to endure but along with each consequence I faced came a valuable lesson, lessons that no one could ever put a price tag on.

Although my memories of that night are cloudy, what I can remember it is enough to haunt me for the rest of my life and it has been a constant struggle to forgive myself for the dangerous and selfish decision I made that night to drive.

I truly believe in miracles and that life is what you make it. If you have a negative situation on your hands, do everything in your power to make it into a positive. That is something my mother and father have always told me.

I realized that we’re all human so it is inevitable for people to make mistakes but the most important thing is for you to not only learn from your mistake but to act on it as well.

Since the night of my accident, I have developed a passion for helping others any way possible. I was able to conduct a fundraiser at FGCU, where we collected more than 1,000 items to be contributed to the Trauma Center’s comfort bags. I also have hopes of one day persuading the faculty and staff at FGCU to provide their students with a safe ride program, where students will have access to an affordable convenient taxi service.

Overall, I have met so many incredible and inspirational people as an outcome of my accident. I have opened so many doors that I never thought even existed and I have closed some doors that have long needed to be closed.

My life before was in a downward spiral and I can honestly say, in all sincerity, that the Trauma Center saved my life in every aspect possible.

Today, I am a senior communication and journalism major at FGCU, with only two semesters left until graduation. I now work as an editor for my school’s newspaper and I am a crime reporter for the Naples Daily News. I try to be actively involved in events put on by the Trauma Center and I also volunteer at Special Equestrians, which is a therapeutic horseback riding organization for people with special needs. All of these things were non-existent to me before my trauma.

To me, my trauma was nothing short of a blessing.



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