SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTGS) — The staff at Memorial Health Hospital celebrated a young man's recovery on Wednesday following a hit-and-run ATV accident that left him in critical condition earlier this year.
Veronica Torres said her family spent over a month in the hospital supporting her son Johnathan through his recovery, and there's a mix of emotions walking through these halls again.
"When you are expecting him to be ok, and then in just a blink of an eye, my husband calls me saying he got in a hit and run, and it's just like, huh," Torres said.
Dr. James Dunne, one of the surgeons who cared for him, said they see many injuries related to all-terrain vehicles because of how few safety precautions go into their use.
TRENDING: BCSO: Fugitive suspected of murder, rape, kidnappings encountered by deputies in Huger
"ATVs are a very common injury pattern here in Georgia for sure, and the problem with ATVs is they aren't very highly regulated. Golf carts are more regulated than ATVs," Dunne said. "So, there's not a lot of safety mandates or requirements for courses on how to safely operate the ATV."
Dr. Dunne said Johnathan is fortunate to be alive, needing his skull removed and re-attached, followed by traumatic brain injury rehab.
Memorial Health recognized Johnathan's astounding recovery naming him their 2023 trauma survivor of the year, inviting his friends, family, and even the first responders who transported him to the hospital that day.
Collyn rounds - jasper county fire rescue
"I love this job for the sole reason of being able to see the happy family's faces of the people I helped, to see their happy faces," said Collyn Rounds with Jasper County Fire Rescue. "This man was grinning. He was big old smiling when I saw him."
TRENDING: 10-foot, 600-pound great white shark pings off Savannah coast
Memorial staff said they treat over 4,000 trauma victims a year, and it's thanks to the abundance of resources they have in-house that they can have such success.
Johnathan said he is grateful to the many people who took care of him, as well as those who came out to support him Wednesday.
He said he's glad to be here and is once again looking forward to what the future holds.
"I'm happy, but I feel bad for the people who didn't come out as I did, and I'm also happy at the fact that I can go to school and do everything I used to do, but it will take time."