A night inside Stroger's trauma unit: FOX Chicago EXCLUSIVE - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

A night inside Stroger's trauma unit: FOX Chicago EXCLUSIVE

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FIRST ON FOX: You may hear a lot about the violence on Chicago's streets, but inside the Cook County Trauma Unit they see results of it every single night.

The busiest trauma unit in the country has been busier this summer, with the number of shooting victims they see up almost 30 percent.

"We've had nights where you see 13, 14, 15 close to 20 gun shot wounds in one night," trauma surgeon Andrew Dennis said. "And then there are nights where we see mostly blunt or people get battered or a mix of things, you just don't know."

FOX Chicago got inside access, spending the night in county with Dennis and his team.

It actually started off relatively quiet but it didn't stay that way for long. At 12:30 a.m. we saw a 26-year -old woman brought in from the Ukrainian Village neighborhood.

She's lucky to be even alive after being bashed in the head with a hammer. It happened during an apparent home invasion and the injuries have left her unable to speak.

And the victims of violence just kept coming. The first shooting victim we saw came in about an hour later. A 27-year-old was clearly in pain after being shot in the leg.

He was followed by a 28-year old who was shot in the thigh, a 30-year-old woman who was stabbed six times, and a 24-year-old man who was beaten so badly he initially had trouble even communicating with doctors

That was all in the span of about 45 minutes, but it was an hour later that things really took a turn.

As a 19-year-old was brought in from the southwest, an 18-year-old was brought in from another scene on the west side. Both had just been shot in back.

Quincy Taylor, 19, was actually well enough to speak with us. He'll left the hospital in a matter of hours.

"I'm just glad that it missed my spine, the doctors say it was like 2 inches, or like centimeters away or something. So I'm just glad it missed my spine so I can walk away from this," Taylor said.

But just a few beds away, the 18-year-old was asking doctors if he'd ever be able walk again.

"One second you're walking, one second you're not. It's amazing how quickly life can change in a matter of a split second."

Of course it can always be worse. That's exactly what we saw in two patients later. It was just before 5 a.m. when a man came in hanging by a thread. He was shot in the head before crashing his car into a light pole

"You never know what's going to come through the door and you know you have your high moments when you change a life, you resurrect someone from the lowest point and where you think they're going to die and you make a difference and you actually pull them out of the flames and then you know maybe the same day you may get hit in the gut because you try your hardest and you couldn't make a change," Dennis said. "I always say you can only work with what God gives you, that's it. You're stuck within the parameters of what the big man upstairs forces you to work within."

In all, the county trauma unit saw 32 patients that night, and while that may seem busy, on some nights they say they see closer 45.

If you're wondering when they get busiest, officials say they see a big influx on at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on weekends. It coincides with when the bars are closing.

Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices