Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability for those ages 18 to 25, which is why doctors recognized those who have survived with National Trauma Survivors Day.
On Wednesday, doctors recognized those who have survived the life-changing events, such as an East Hartford police officer who survived the unimaginable.
It was a crash that almost took the life of East Hartford Police Officer Todd Lentocha, when his police cruiser was hit by a pickup truck over two years ago.
“Bad things happen to people all over the world. Some more traumatic than others. And when they do happen it tends to close off your world," Lentocha said.
He suffered severe brain injuries and was in a coma, and many people, including his own doctor didn't think he would live.
“Dr. (Inam) Kureshi didn't expect me to make it. My wife didn't expect me to make it," Lentocha said.
But he beat the odds at the only level one trauma center in the Hartford area, which is at Hartford Hospital.
“He is very fortunate. Not everyone has the same outcome as he would have,” said Kureshi, who is the chief of Neurosurgery.
The crash happened on Route 2 in East Hartford, where officers were staking out the area trying to catch a suspect involved in a string of burglaries.
The cruiser was parked on the shoulder of the highway when it was hit.
“I never saw it coming and I woke up 33 days later," Lentocha said.
After a long road of recovery and losing his eyesight, Lentocha managed to turn his loss into a gain.
He wrote a book, which is not on store shelves, and has advice for those who are fighting the good fight.
“That handicapped is something no one ever wishes upon themselves, or others and you don't know how to deal with it. But know it will get better if you want it to but you have to figure out a way to do that," Lentocha said.
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