INDIANAPOLIS — Every day, there are new traumas across central Indiana. Each victim of a gunshot wound, car accident, attack and more go for treatment at our local hospitals. Not just for their physical injuries, but for the trauma they experienced as well.

IU Methodist is one of those hospitals. Last year, the staff there cared for more than 4,000 trauma patients.

”Traumatic injury is one of those things, its unplanned,” said Thomas McDorr, the Trauma Chaplain at IU Methodist.

McDorr runs the Trauma Survivors Network at IU Methodist Hospital and immediately help people after terrible injuries or accidents.

”It’s more than just a number or a news story, it’s completely life changing for those people and their families,” McDorr said.

McDorr and his team work with people who have fallen, been in a car crash, gotten shot and more.

”Each patient is different, each injury is different,” he said.

Sometimes, the patient even comes back to help others.

”I came into Methodist hospital as an attempted rape and stabbing patient,” Erica Buck said.

Now Buck is a trauma survivor and a peer support volunteer for the Trauma Survivors Network. She talks to new trauma patients each week at IU Methodist.

”Sometimes the conversations can last 10 minutes, sometimes the conversations can last more than an hour,” Buck said. “Sometimes we cry together, sometime we hold hands.”

Buck is able to help patients in ways doctors, nurses or even McDorr can’t, because she has been in their shoes.

”I let them know its okay to cry, it’s really important to start dealing with their emotions,” Buck said.

She has helped hundreds begin to heal, and along the way, helped herself, too.

 “It is a huge part of my recovery and my acceptance of what happened to me,” Buck said.

The help is much appreciated, on average, IU Methodist treated more than 10 trauma patients a day last year.

”Since I’ve been here, year after year, our trauma numbers continue to grow,” said McDorr, who started the Trauma Survivors Network at IU Methodist in 2019.

As summer gets closer, McDorr and Buck head into their busiest time of the year.

”If people watch the news, they know that gun violence is so prevalent right now,” Buck said. “Unfortunately, I see a lot of that.”

It’s not just gun violence, McDorr and Buck said with nicer weather, they see car crashes, assaults and other trauma creating crimes and accidents increase.

”It’s very real and it’s something that happens to people every day,” McDorr said.

Each week, they work to make as much difference as they can in the lives of their patients. 

”I know I am helping at least one person that day when I am walking into the hospital,” Buck said.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the help the Trauma Survivors Network provides, you can find more information on the network website.