DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — May is Trauma Awareness Month. Doctors said it's especially important to acknowledge that trauma can happen at anytime, even during a pandemic.
A Boynton Beach couple said over the past year or so, they haven't been doing much, aside from going to work and enjoying their evening walks. They never expected it would be one of those walks that would send them to the emergency room in the middle of a pandemic.
"My husband and I were walking on the sidewalk and a car hit us from behind," Frederica Davis said. "All we remember is that we woke up in the hospital."
Frederica and Lamar Davis said they don't remember much.
"It happened in one second, and I lost consciousness," Frederica Davis said. "My husband, you know, he was under the car. The hospital saved his life."
The Davises do remember the doctor and the team that saved and took care of them.
"My family and I feel like we've been given a second chance," Lamar Davis said. "I know I've been given a second chance at life. ... They saved my life."
Dr. Joseph Ricotta, a vascular surgeon at Delray Medical Center, said it's what they do.
"Traumas are not going to wait for a pandemic to stop, so whatever traumas come in, you know, we deal with it," he said.
In other words, the show must go on to save lives.
"Mr. Davis' injury was potentially catastrophic, because the impact of the collision, when they got hit by the drunk driver by the car actually dissected his carotid artery, so it created a tear in his carotid artery, which then clotted it off his carotid artery, so he had no blood flow going to his brain on the right side," Ricotta said.
Ricotta said they restored blood flow to his brain in a matter of minutes.
"While the clock is ticking, we had to have coordination from the emergency room, from the trauma team, from radiology," he explained.
Lamar Davis said it was a blessing that he was sent there.
Ricotta said he's proud of his patient's progress. He said he knows this trauma in particular was severe and needed immediate treatment but said it serves as a reminder to get medical help when needed.
"A lot of times the patients are a little reluctant to come and seek care, because they are afraid of the virus, and so there's been this delay of urgent and emergent care because of that," Ricotta said. "So the biggest challenge has been to make sure that the patients understand the hospital's a safe place."