Trauma survivors reunite with their heroes

by | May 20, 2022 | Community News, News

May is known as Trauma Awareness Month and on Wednesday, May 18, we celebrated Trauma Survivors Day. Atrium Health Navicent and the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department came together to create a special moment for two trauma survivors.  

Members in our community, healthcare workers, and first responders stood in front of the hospital’s emergency room as Mayor Lester Miller read a proclamation for Trauma Awareness Month. After, the hospital honored Justin Woodall, who survived a motorcycle accident in September of last year. Woodall doesn’t remember anything from the accident, other than the recovery. But on Wednesday, he was able to ask questions to people who remember it all- the first responders on the scene. 

“Every accident is different, and every victim is different and with a severe trauma like his, we’re limited on scene with what we can do. We did everything we could on scene as fast as we could to get him to high level care immediately,” said Firefighter Lt. Michael Norris.  

“This whole recovery experience has been very humbling and eye-opening,” said Woodall. 

Another survivor who was surprised, was Kimiko Cheeley, who happens to be the Trauma Survivor Network Coordinator. In 2017, Cheeley suffered a traumatic experience when a tractor trailer tire fell on her and trapped her. This put her in a coma for eight days.  

“A lot of the times we don’t know what happens to the victims you have helped and don’t hear about the outcome,” said Capt. Greg Bini. “I didn’t know what her road to recovery was like, until I got this call to come hang out with her today. I’m so glad I got the chance to see her again.” 

“There are no words for the moment. They kept everything a secret from me and did very well,” said Cheeley. “Just to meet the people who were a part of the care team and able to help me. I wouldn’t be able to be here if it wasn’t for them” 

 

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