LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - So far this year, UofL Hospital has treated 40 patients with gunshot wounds. There were 957 in 2020 and 586 patients in 2019. One of the many gunshot victims to come though the hospital is a Louisville man who says he’s thankful to be alive but has had his life drastically changed forever.
“The first guy, his bullet hit me in my chest, in my lung and my spine on the way out,” Terrell Williams said.
On March 29, 2017, Williams left work and was driving to his brother’s house. He made a stop at the store near 39th and Bank Streets. For the few minutes he was in the store, he said a few men tried to steal his car. Williams said his gut reaction made him pull out his gun, but the thief shot him first.
Williams fell to the ground after he was shot in the chest. The bullet pierced his lung and touched his spine. As he was lying on the ground, he was shot again. This time in his neck.
“I just thought I was about to die,” Williams said. “I thought I got hit in the head, that’s what it felt like. Because I used to have hair too, so it went through my hair and then into my neck.”
Paramedics rushed Williams to University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, meaning doctors expected him to survive. Williams survived being shot, but his life has changed forever. Williams is paralyzed from the waist down. He can’t walk and his bladder and bowel function were also affected.
“It’s tough, it’s tough for anybody,” Williams said. “But having people around me and it seemed like they were going through it too. Technically, yes. I got shot physically. But it’s like they got shot mentally too.”
Williams and other gunshot survivors were sent to the UofL Health - Frazier Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Camilo Castillo said the patient’s mental health can be just as important as physical health.
“If you’re depressed, you don’t want to do anything we have to push them to try to go into therapy,” Dr. Castillo said. “So if they don’t want to get out of the bed, that’s the whole idea of Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, each professional helps us right away to get things done so they can recover.”
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