By Stephanie Stahl


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some overdue and heartfelt messages were shared at Hahnemann Hospital on Wednesday. It’s National Trauma Survivors Day, recognizing the patients, families, and medical teams who come together in times of crisis.

Eighteen-year-old Nasair Boston Epps thanked the people at Hahnemann Hospital who saved his life after he was shot in the abdomen.

“I’m just wanting to give them all my love and my thanks for helping me and getting me here to where I’m at right now,” Epps said.

The high school senior, who plays rugby, spent a month in the hospital when he was hit by a stray bullet.

“I would not be here without Hahnemann Hospital, the nursing staff, and doctors,” Epps said.

On National Trauma Survivors Day, Epps joined other patients and their families to thank their heroes — the medical staff.

“A lot of these patients don’t remember us, we certainly do remember them,” said Dr. Marcin Jankowski said, the hospital’s director of trauma and critical care.

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“It’s absolutely incredible to see them come back healthy, recovered, and we gain a lot of strength from this,” Dr. Jankowski said.

They’re the people on the front lines of trauma care, who work fast with precision and expertise. The people you want around you in a crisis.

“Everyone was trying to help me and I don’t remember it, but I feel it,” former patient Tala Ayyad said.

Ayyad was the victim of a hit-and-run. She was left with a traumatic brain injury.

Almost fully recovered now, she credits the strangers at Hahnemann who feel like family now.

“My perspective on life has changed and I love life and the world even more and it’s because of all of you, thank you so much,” Ayyad said to the group.

Epps recovered just in time to attend his prom. He wants to be a physical therapist in the Army – his way of giving back.

Stephanie Stahl