Trauma survivors overcome hurdles with help from new network at Charlotte hospital

Hospital forms network for trauma survivors

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two weeks after the fatal UNC Charlotte shooting one of the students injured says he’s taken his first steps without a walker.

Drew Pescaro tweeted out video of his progress getting to walk down the hospital hallway with support of staff beside him.

Trauma patients like Drew have incredible hurdles to overcome, but a hospital in our area started a trauma survivors network to help patients get through it together.

If you or someone you love has had a traumatic injury like a serious fall, car crash or workplace injury, one trauma surgeon at Atrium Health says they started a network to help your body and mind recover.

“After a traumatic injury you never know what you will be left with, but it will be a journey," said surgeon William Miles.

Holding car keys is a challenge to face down on Stephen Shope’s journey. He’s an amputee and trauma survivor.

“I survived a high-speed motorcycle wreck, and others have survived other things that you wouldn’t think they would survive,” Shope explained.

Some survivors say it takes a toll on your mind.

“I didn’t want to get depressed, I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself," said trauma survivor Adalberto Cedeno.

Miles says that’s where the network comes in - where trauma survivors work with those recently injured.

“Seeing someone who has survived and has a new normal helps them psychologically to say, ‘maybe I can do that too,’” Miles said.

There’s now a new normal - with new arms - for Shope. He’s a founding member of the Trauma Survivors Network.

“Makes you remember - hey, be thankful for what you got even if you’re missing stuff,” Shope said.

“You realize if they went through it, I can do it," Cedeno said.

The network is meant to help people not only survive, but thrive.

“If you don’t believe you can do it you’re not going to be able to do it,” Shope said. “If you can get past the mental piece you can do anything you want.”

If you or a loved one has dealt with trauma and wants to join the network, here are some resources to help you:

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.