PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A special reunion Wednesday for a Philadelphia trauma team and the patients they saved.
Wednesday was “National Trauma Survivors Day,” recognizing people who beat the odds and the medical teams who save them.
“He loves his mom, he’s very attached to his mom,” said Jeff Beatrice, CJ’s father.
Maybe that’s because CJ’s life started with a traumatic separation from his mom, Lisa Beatrice. She was in a horrible car crash and 38 weeks pregnant.
“My placenta ruptured so they had to take the baby right away,” said Lisa.
Lisa had been rushed to Hahnemann Hospital, a level one trauma hospital.
“They were honest and told us it was a very dire situation, we’re not 100 percent sure she’s going to make it,” said Jeff.
Incredibly, Lisa’s husband Jeff, a Philadelphia firefighter had been with colleagues grieving over the loss of Matt Letourneau.
“I was emotionally drained by the time I got here,” Jeff told CBS3 Eyewitness News. “For two reasons I can’t forget that day losing Matt and my son was born.”
Four months later, the family was back at Hahnemann for a reunion.
Patients like Lisa and CJ, and their families were with the doctors and nurses who saved their lives.
Dr. Richard Burns was the trauma surgeon who worked on Lisa and the baby.
“It’s nice, he’s a cute, perfect baby,” said Dr. Burns. “It was a scary business for all of us, she was hurt really bad.”
Lisa, who has two other children, had a ruptured spleen. There was uncontrolled bleeding, a serious trauma that she doesn’t remember.
“I’m a stoic person, so I try to swallow a lot of stuff but, talking about it, it’s a lot,” said Lisa.
The emotional scars will last a while, but physically, Lisa and her baby are fine now. They are filled with gratitude.
The Hahnemann team says it’s the work they do every day.
Lisa, who is a nurse, will be going back to work soon. Her husband, Jeff, has taken Matt Letourneau’s place as the new Lieutenant at engine company 45.