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Trauma Survivors 2018

The following stories are examples of patients whose lives have been touched by the Harris Health System.

Kelly Cardona knows the day he realized how important his wife, Veronica, and two children are to him. It was May 24, 2017, when he was assaulted by three men, shot in the back and robbed. Kelly’s assailants were after his money and phone, which he would willingly have given in exchange for his life.


On June 16, 2017, Cristobal Cornejo was relaxing after a day at work when he walked outside his apartment to smoke a cigarette. Without warning, he was shot from both sides. Even with six gunshot wounds, he made it inside to ask his son to call 911.


Marion Forbes says you have to forgive to be forgiven, and he’s forgiven the man who shot him twice in his left arm and back. The shots punctured his lung and fractured his ribs. Unresponsive when he arrived at Ben Taub Hospital, he was rushed into surgery where doctors removed part of his lung. He was sedated and on a ventilator in the intensive care unit for almost a month.


Catastrophic accidents can occur in a blink of an eye. That’s what happened to Danny Lewis on October 3, 2017, when he was helping operate a steel manufacturing machine. His hand got caught, and the machine had to be reversed to free it. By that time, the bones in his forearm were crushed, and his hand was attached only by soft tissue.


Priscilla Martinez and her friend, Alyssa, were driving home in May 2017 when a driver ran a red light and hit them at a high speed. Priscilla remembers it like a movie, “Everything was so fast and so slow. We were tumbling around, and the car was flipping. We landed on the driver’s side, with my arm trapped outside the car. It felt white hot, then nothing. The car flipped again, and I army-crawled out.


Early in February 2018, Avery Nash was surprised to become embroiled in an argument with a life-long neighbor. He was even more shocked when the neighbor shot him. Four houses away, Avery’s wife, Irene, heard the shot and called 911.


Years from now, when Francisco Ramirez thinks about Hurricane Harvey, he’ll remember more than deep water. He’ll remember a surgeon with a deep commitment to saving lives.

Diego Rodriguez works with his father installing siding on residential homes. January 19, 2018, promised to be like any other workday until another installer who was working above him misfired as he holstered his nail gun. A two-inch nail was driven into the left side of Diego’s head, flush to the skin.


It was the middle of the night, August 10, 2017, when Marissa Rotenberry’s mother got the call every parent dreads. Marissa had been in a car accident. The Stephen F. Austin State University student was stabilized at a Nacogdoches hospital and transferred by ambulance to Harris Health System’s  Ben Taub Hospital.


July 4, 2017, was a memorable day for Corey Rush. From his sister’s house, he walked with his girlfriend, Kabrica, his brother and his three children to a nearby store. A passing SUV jumped the curb and hit Corey. The driver stopped, checked his car for damage and drove off.


On the afternoon of March 26, 2017, Brandy and Isaiah Rusher were sharing conversation and laughs with their best friend, their brother and another friend. They sat on the stairwell leading to Brandy’s apartment, while her baby, Cohen, napped inside.


Amar Sandhu and his wife, Ammol, were traveling on the I-45 North feeder road when they were hit from behind. As Amar got out of his vehicle to assess the damage, he was hit by another car and thrown over his truck. Both legs were broken, one a compound fracture; nine ribs were broken and his lung was punctured; he had a cut above his left eye; and he had injuries to his skull and vertebrae.


Brian Worster is clear about why he tells his story: If people find themselves in Ben Taub Hospital following a traumatic event, they should know they are in the right place. In April 2017, a truck tire bounced across a highway median and went through Brian’s windshield. It caused multiple head and brain injuries, damaged the left side of his face and fractured a vertebra – any of the injuries could have caused long-term damage.