It happened in the blink of an eye. An undercover police officer trailing a suspected gang member finally spotted him. Then, the suspect took off running; as he fled the scene he rapidly fired 10 rounds, hitting veteran Fremont Police Officer Todd Young in the pelvis. Fellow officers rushed him to Highland Hospital, where Young, 39, refused to be sedated until he called his wife.
“I figured I would still be able to get home that night,” he recalled. “I told her I hurt my leg and they were gonna patch it up and that I’d be out of there in a couple of hours.”
But the situation was far more serious. Young was hemorrhaging internally, and when his family arrived emergency room providers gravely told them that his odds of survival were slim.
Highland’s Renowned Emergency Department and Trauma Center Performs Yet Another Miracle
Young could not have been in better hands. Alameda Health System (AHS) houses a world-renowned Level 2 Trauma Center that serves densely populated and heavily traversed Northern Alameda County. Its team of top-rated physicians and other providers are second to none in knowledge, skill and dedication. In fact, Highland’s reputation is such that young doctors from across the U.S. compete fiercely to land an internship in its Emergency Department.
That night, Young and his doctors began an all-out effort to save his life starting with an initial trauma surgery that required massive blood transfusions. Instead of going home, for 19 days Young lay in a medically-induced coma designed to facilitate his treatment and ensure his recovery. Doctors and nurses worked round the clock to save his life. Finally, after 50 days, Young—wanting nothing more than to return home and resume his life—was able to leave the hospital. Still, the recovery process was painstaking. Eight more surgeries and extensive physical therapy followed. It was a long, hard road, but Young—and his ever-expanding team of dedicated AHS health care professionals—persevered.
Rebuilding a Life through Determination and Expert Medical Care
At the AHS Foundation’s 2013 Gala event, Young shared his story and his praise for his medical team: “I just want to thank my doctors—they are truly awesome. I received some very good health care from them. Alameda Health System has helped me in so many ways. After I went home, my doctor would call me and talk with me; he spent hours on the telephone with me, coaching me through my recovery. The doctors at Highland have given me and my family what no-one else could have given me—the medical care I needed to get my life back.” Young reached a milestone when he was able to walk into court without a walker to testify against his shooter who is now incarcerated serving two life sentences. Today—more than three years after he was shot and a year after he returned to police work, Young’s in better shape than ever. He’s back on the streets with his Gang Task Force colleagues working to keep our community safe.
And for the AHS Emergency Team and other trauma care providers based at Highland, the daily challenge of making people whole continues, as does the satisfaction of knowing they are helping patients like Todd Young recover from traumatic injuries and other life-threatening conditions, and return safely home to their loved ones and continue their lives.
Help the Foundation continue to fund AHS’s life-saving services. Your gift will help continue to make stories like Officer Young’s possible.