Miss Florida Saved After Near Fatal Car 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.”
Feb. 1933 Jackson History
Presidential Assassination Attempt Puts Jackson in the National Spotlight. Link opens story page.
In February 1933, a deranged man fired several bullets at President-elect Roosevelt, striking Chicago Mayor Cermak and four bystanders.Explore in 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.
Nov. 1986 Jackson History
First Adult Heart Transplant. Link opens story page.
On Thanksgiving Day in 1986, Mark Frye underwent heart transplant surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital.Explore in story page.