skip to content

Miss Florida Saved After Near Fatal Car Crash

Miss Florida before near fatal crash

Two weeks after being crowned Miss Florida in 2003, Shauna Pender Vetrano traveled to Miami for a charity event. On her way, during rush-hour traffic, a semi-trailer truck carrying avocados swerved and toppled over onto the car in which Shauna was a passenger.

Firefighters pried Shauna, then 24, out of the car. She was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center and many people believed she would not survive.

In addition to suffering a stroke, Shauna had a torn aorta, numerous broken bones and a paralyzed vocal cord. During her two months as a patient at Ryder Trauma, she underwent a dozen surgeries. Even after leaving the hospital, she required intense rehabilitation and physical therapy.

The crash dramatically altered Shauna’s career path. She dreamed of becoming an actress on Broadway, but the damage to her voice made that physically impossible. Instead, she uses her story of survival to motivate others.

In addition to the unending support of her family and friends, Shauna credits her survival to the medical team that cared for her. “Everyone at Ryder Trauma Center was amazing,” she says. “Had this happened anywhere else, I would be dead. I know that for a fact.”

Share

Trending Stories

Little boy received new treatment for cleft lip with plastic surgery from Jackson doctor in 1955 Opens story page.

Jan. 1955 Medical Firsts

New Treatment for Cleft Lip Is Designed

. Link opens story page.

In 1955, UM/Jackson reconstructive surgeon Dr. D. Ralph Millard, Jr. designed rotation-advancement flap surgery to treat cleft lip.

Explore in story page.
Medical professional and image of Jackson Memorial Hospital Opens story page.

Aug. 1994 Medical Firsts

Florida’s First Intestinal Transplant

. Link opens story page.

In August 1994, 4-year- old Natasha Yousuf became the first person in the southeastern United States to receive an intestinal transplant.

Explore in story page.
Opens story page.

Feb. 2018 Employee Stories

Diversity Is Key for the Jackson Family

. Link opens story page.

Upon returning to Miami after college to pursue a career in finance, a close friend approached me regarding an opportunity at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Being a South Florida native and knowing Jackson’s reputation in the community, I knew that I couldn’t miss out on the chance to work there.

Explore in story page.

Copyright 2019 Jackson Health System

Jackson health System