SANFORD, Fla. - Hospitals across the country celebrated the lives and recoveries of trauma survivors Wednesday during Trauma Survivor Awareness Day.
In the year since Central Florida Regional Hospital became a trauma center, their doctors, nurses and therapists have saved the lives of more than 400 patients with critical injuries.
Dillon Hadden was in a serious car accident on Christmas Eve, 2015.
"I got stabbed through my body, and I'm just glad to be alive," Hadden said.
Dr. Alex Evans, the hospital's trauma medical director, said timing is key with these types of injuries.
"Whether it be a brain injury or bleeding, these things need to be controlled and even corrected as fast as possible, so we're talking about minutes, seconds," Evans said.
Evans said in some cases, the location of their trauma center cuts the time it would take to transport patients in West Volusia and Seminole counties in half.
"Individuals who live, work or even pass through the areas of Seminole County and West Volusia, in general there was about a 25-mile swing here or there depending on where you are to go to the other trauma centers that are nearby," Evans said.
About a dozen survivors treated at the hospital thanked the medical staff for their life-saving work by releasing more than 400 butterflies in a ceremony.
"Even if there's something that doesn't go right, in the end, it will all work out," said trauma survivor Aaron Al-Birekdar.
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