SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Johnathan Torres is beyond thankful to be standing with his care team at Memorial Hospital
In January, doctors didn’t know if the 15-year-old would live to see another day.
Four months later, he’s smiling and moving around after passionate doctors and nurses worked to save his life.
He was hit by a car while riding his ATV in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
The car sped away leaving Torres’ lifeless body on the ground. EMTs found him and rushed him to Coastal Carolina where he was then flown to Memorial Hospital.
Torres suffered severe injuries including skull fractures and internal bleeding.
Dr. James Dunne, chief of trauma surgeon at Memorial Hospital said ATV riders suffer if they don’t wear a helmet.
“He had to have you know several procedures, following that. He had his skull taken off and then had to be put back on. There’s no helmet requirements and because of that when an individual gets thrown off of the ATV, they can have significant head injuries and facial injuries and chest and abdominal trauma,” Dr. Dunne said.
Torres’ miraculously made it through those surgeries. For over a month, Torres was in rehab as doctors taught him how to walk and talk again. Wednesday, Torres received Memorial’s 2023 Trauma Survivor of the Year award. He invited all of the important people in his life to witness this moment including his teachers.
Torres said, “I feel good. I don’t have any pain, I don’t have anything really. I’m happy to see everyone else here as well.
Dr. Heather Macnew, general surgery had this to say about his recovery.
“We’re just so happy to have Johnathan here with us, he’s made an amazing recovery as you can see and it’s really just a testament to our trauma hospital and our multidisciplinary team.
Doctors say having a trauma center readily available is what saved his life– and the people closest to him are thankful including his mother, Veronica.
“You know they did an amazing job and now you know when I was walking with him, around it’s just, to me it’s amazing, it’s incredible because I’m so happy to have my son with us,” Veronica said.
Experts say it is important to always wear a helmet when riding an ATV and to always maintain a safe speed limit.