Penn alum saves lives in Las Vegas massive shooting
MISHAWAKA, Ind.-We’ve seen outside videos from the massive shooting that happened in Las Vegas and we can only imagine what hospitals were like while patients were being rushed through doors.
One trauma surgeon who has Michiana roots explains.
Former Penn High School Marching Band member and now trauma surgeon at a level one trauma center in Vegas, Dr. Paul Chestovich tells ABC57 Sunday evening was calm until he received an alert about an active shooter.
“I threw on some scrubs got in the car and left. It was a real challenge getting there,” says Chestovich. “When I left I didn’t appreciate the size of incident and so the freeway was closed so I had to take a different route.”
What took Chestovich twice the amount of time to get to the university medical center, where he works, “…Said a prayer that I would do the best I could and save as many people as I can…”
Allowed him to mentally prepare himself for what he was about to see. “When I got to the trauma center there were a huge number of people. The best word to describe it would be controlled chaos. There were patients in every single bed, multiple gurneys in the same spot.”
As the trauma center was getting new patients through the doors, Chestovich remembers the selflessness and bravery of the patients he treated, along with the comradery of his team.
“If their injuries were minor, I would say, ‘You’re going to be fine, but I have to move on’ and they were fine with that,” he says. “Any patient that arrived in our hospital that could be saved was saved.”
Chestovich says he felt a unique juxtaposition of emotions, but wants to highlight the visit President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made to Vegas.
“The country has our back; the President of the United States came to visit. It really just meant a tremendous amount that he took the time to come. It was really just an honor,” says Chestovich.
Chestovich adds several patients had many doctors caring for them, but collectively they performed well over a dozen surgeries.