How I Heard

Chadwick Smith, MD, the trauma surgeon on call and one of my partners, called me at 2:20 am. The call was unusually brief. There was none of the usual “I’m sorry to wake you up, but…” I answered and Chad calmly, but urgently, said, “I have 20 gunshot wounds coming. I need you.” My response was similarly brief. “I’m on the way.” Before I hung up, I quickly added, “Chad, call everyone.” Gunshot wounds have a much higher likelihood of requiring operative intervention, and I knew that we would need all the surgeons we could muster. I quickly put on some scrubs and headed for the car. My wife, Susie, had been awakened by the call and asked what was happening. As I recounted Chad’s call, I was struck by the surreal thought of having 20 simultaneous gunshot wound patients. We had trained for such an event, but I still couldn’t believe it was happening.