Survivors of Accidents Thank UMC

LAS VEGAS -- We all see tragic accidents and wonder how the person survived. Tuesday, University Medical Center's Trauma Center honored more than a dozen people who almost died in accidents.

Each survivor had a less than five percent chance of living, and now that they've been on the brink of death, life has a new meaning.

It was a celebration of life, but this moment in time is one many UMC Trauma survivors almost didn't see.

"I was fighting to get back. At the last second I just let go and overshot the jump probably 10 or 15 feet," said T.J. Lavin.

Lavin was a pro BMX rider who suffered serious brain injury after falling from his motorcycle October of 2010. Days before his accident, Dane Zdunich and Alex Lambson were struck by lightning outside their high school near St. George, Utah.

"I had a minor stroke in the right hemisphere of my brain, so my left side is a little weak and my fingers don't work that well," said Lambson.

"There's the first responders, they're the people in the ambulance that took care of me on the way to the hospital. There's the people on the life flight on the way to UMC. The surgeons. I'm thankful for everyone," said Zdunich.

UMC has the only level 1 trauma center in Nevada and is the only free-standing trauma center west of the Mississippi River.

"When the patients arrive, we're already in gowns and gloves waiting at the bedside. They have all the care they need, operating rooms are open, CAT scans are available," said UMC Trauma's Director Dr. John Fildes.

For Andrew Linn, the center was home for two weeks after a bizarre accident only five months ago. A pipe from a chain link fence hit his windshield and went through his head.

These victims have been given a second chance and hope their stories inspire everyone to live each day like it's their last.

"If you were to die tomorrow, would you be able to look back on your life and be proud of it?" said Zdunich.


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