Teen Hit by a Stray Bullet Gets Second Chance, Becomes Trauma Surgeon at Johns Hopkins
A surgeon hopes his personal experience with gun violence inspires change among others.
Dr. Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins, was hit by a stray bullet when he was in high school. Despite permanent damage to his vocal cords, he speaks up and shares his story to break the cycle of violence that plagues the streets.
At 17, he was just starting his senior year at Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Virginia, and had just been to his high school football game and was with friends at a nearby playground when a stray bullet from someone else’s disagreement suddenly struck him.
“I went from being a healthy, 17-year-old high school student to collateral damage after I was shot in the throat with a .38-caliber bullet,” he said. “My entire life changed.”
He underwent multiple surgeries and spent weeks in the hospital but recovered grateful to be alive and determined to make the most of his second chance.
After 28 years, Sakran remembers it as the worst day of his life but also says it was the most impactful day of his life. The care he got after he was shot inspired him to pursue a career as a trauma surgeon. Now he’s in charge of emergency general surgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
“My vision was that I just want to be able to give someone else the same second chance that I was given,” he said.
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