Trauma Strong: A Story of Survival

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 33,000 people are killed by guns and nearly 79,000 people survive gunshots each year in the United States. Paul Smith, a then 17-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada, was one of the lucky ones.

The high school football player was enjoying a typical teenaged day when he was robbed, shot at close range and left for dead last summer. The traumatizing event brought him to Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, an HCA affiliate, where the care team performed life-saving surgery within what’s known as the “golden hour” – the time period when a trauma patient is said to have the greatest chance of survival.

Smith survived the ordeal and was back on the football field with his teammates a little more than a month later. Here, he shares his story of survival and caregivers at Sunrise Hospital prove why they are “Trauma Strong.”