LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The human cost of gun violence in Louisville was apparent at UofL Hospital on Thursday, but so was the healing power of doctors on the front lines of emergency medicine.
An emotional reunion between gunshot victims and the trauma workers, who saved their lives, happened as Christopher 2X Game Changers, survivors and U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman presented awards to the trauma team.
Anti-violence advocate Christopher 2X said, since the Louisville-Jefferson County merger 17 years ago, no 17-year span of time in Louisville history has generated as many gunshot patients at UofL Hospital.
Coleman said community members have told him the reason why the city’s homicide rate isn’t higher is partly because of the trauma workers at UofL Hospital.
“It wasn’t a law, a new statute,” Coleman said. “It wasn’t new training. It was the magicians ... at UofL Hospital. The magicians at the University of Louisville Hospital.”
Among those recognized was UofL Hospital Chief of Surgery David Richardson. He said, over his career, he’s operated on more than 1,000 gun shot victims.
“Each patient in their own way, survive or not survive is a tragedy,” Richardson said.
Christopher 2X agreed. He said that even if you don’t die from getting shot, life is tougher after the terrifying experience.
“They can put up the biggest good game faces that they want, but their lives are not the same,” 2X said.
For three gunshot victims who came to thank the doctors that saved their lives, that may be true, but Thursday they fought through the terror and the tears.
“I was looking for this moment to thank all of you all,” Cierra Twyman Miller, a gunshot wound survivor, said. “The ones I remember that came to my bedside.”
A simple gesture of appreciation that these three might not be able to make if it wasn’t for those they were thanking.
“I really appreciate what you all did for us,” Dionte Reed, who is also a gunshot survivor, told the doctors who saved him. “Thank you.”
During the event, Christopher 2X said he felt recent federal raids made a difference in the level of violent crime in Louisville.