Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

"My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.”   - Steve Goodier

Trauma Survivors, 
Scars can be physical, mental, or emotional. Some scars you can see. Other scars are invisible, but just as real. The Trauma Survivors Network is here to connect survivors and families of survivors in all phases of the healing process. The TSN wants to remind you that you are not alone and that your scars are a part of your unique story, but they do not define you. The TSN is cheering for you to find and develop your strength and resilience after trauma. 

Super Survivors

Highlighting Trauma Survivor: Shannon O'Brien

"It was 2006, the summer before my senior year of high school. The day started with a morning like every other, but what I didn’t know was that the day could very easily have been my last. As happy, enthusiastic, deeply bonded teens, my cousin, two friends and I would later get together and drive down a beautiful country road we had traveled countless times before. Only this time the driver would loose control of the vehicle navigating a slippery turn. The car flipped (over and over and over again), and I was thrown through the rear window. As my body laid far from the car, my mind moved between a dream-like state and the chaos of the crash. I saw my family and friends, but as I reached towards them, I was pulled back into my body – unable to move or speak as the first responders swarmed the scene.


Having survived a horrific car crash and having been blessed with a second chance at life, I constantly prayed for ways to fulfill my purpose. When I saw myself in the mirror for the first time after surgery, I knew I was looking at my reflection, but I was unsure of who was looking back at me. I felt like a monster. It would have been easy to be angry, but I knew I was lucky to be alive. I knew God had a plan for me. I will be forever grateful to the first responders who helped save my life, family and friends who visited me in the hospital, and those who have walked with me on my journey of recovery in the Trauma Survivors Network - especially Frannie Grissom, the coordinator of TSN at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.


Attending support group meetings, peer-visiting patients, community TSN events, and passing out care packages during the holiday season to patients and family members at Shock Trauma are moments I keep close to my heart. These opportunities (and others like them) that Frannie puts together for members of the TSN have helped to heal me. Through the TSN I continue to be mesmerized by countless miracles of hope and healing. 


As Miss Virginia International, and with the support of the TSN, I have been blessed to be able to use my recovery as a testimony, and to dedicate my years of pageantry to trauma survivors around the world. Recovery has been a bittersweet journey, but with the help of the TSN and Frannie I am blessed with a full recovery.


I have never met anyone with more compassion than Frannie. She could make the saddest person happy with her words of encouragement and inspiring strength. I am so thankful for her undying devotion to help patients move forward and adjust to their new lifestyle after a trauma. She cares about everyone’s stories, and knows that recovery continues beyond medical treatments and hospitalization. Being a part of the TSN is being part of a family. 


I feel that every breath we take, every beat of our hearts, and every second we are blessed to be alive is for a reason – all with divine importance. Today is a gift, and I believe God has a purpose for you that is beyond pain. One of my favorite scripture passages is Jeremiah 29:11 which says,” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plan to give you hope and a future.” Miracles happen. We are all living proof."    --Shannon O'Brien, Trauma Survivor

Shannon with Franny Grissom, TSN Coordinator
Left: Shannon with Frannie Grissom, TSN Coordinator
Right: Shannon on National Trauma Survivors Day

Welcome New TSN Sites

The American Trauma Society would like to welcome these Trauma Centers and Hospitals, who have just started a TSN program in 2018. Click on each trauma center name to learn more about this TSN program or to contact the TSN Coordinator there.

TSN Program Highlights

MetroHealth Medical Center
Cleveland, OH

“It truly is a neat event that allows our doctors, nurses, caregivers, etc. to walk side by side with survivors in which they literally had a 'hand' in their recovery.
Very impactful!”
-- Megen Betts,
TSN Coordinator
This summer, MetroHealth Medical Center hosted their second annual Resiliency Run at MetroHealth. The race honors patients and their families by raising money to provide essential care and services to those who come to MetroHealth for trauma, burn, stroke, and other critical care needs. The Resiliency Run is a community event. MetroHealth employees (including trauma doctors, nurses, therapists, etc), volunteers from the Trauma Survivors Network, TSN support group attendees, families of survivors, local first responders, and the surrounding community members come out to participate in this event. Each year, the race has grown. As the area’s community hospital, the Cleveland community especially celebrates the MetroHealth system and its efforts to provide the best care to patients, regardless of the ability to pay. 

When asked how she feels this race impacted the people who participated, Megen Betts, TSN Coordinator at MetroHealth shared, "Watching our folks cross the finish line and seeing the looks on their faces (and families!) is absolutely priceless. After every event, we typically try to have an after-party to continue forth the celebration!" Megen also shared that like National Trauma Survivors Day, the Resiliency Run is another opportunity for survivors and families to celebrate their journey.  The run allows the trauma team members and trauma survivors to walk (and some run!) in order to highlight the resiliency of trauma survivors and to give back in another way to the hospital system to continue supporting others. 

Check out this video, which highlights the Resiliency Run:
Pictures: Survivors and families gather at the Resiliency Run. 
Photo Credit: Drzazga Photo
University of Tennessee Medical Center
Knoxville, TN
"Survivors are able to share their stories with community members and trauma surgeons along with all of their struggles and success. 
It is a great way for survivors and caregivers to be involved with trauma services in a different way."
-- Elizabeth Waters, TSN Coordinator  
TEE Up for Trauma is a fun day of golfing and networking with 120 individuals from the area’s business and healthcare community, hosted at one of Knoxville’s finest golf courses, Cherokee Country Club.  The tournament includes a putting contest, Par 3 hole contests, a Hole-in-One contest.  In addition to golfing, participants are welcome to join the UTMC team for lunch prior to the tournament as well as the 19th Hole Reception after playing to watch the check presentation and awards ceremony.  The TSN Team utilizes the golf course to place TSN survivor stories and trauma facts to help educate the players about this special cause. 

 This year celebrated the 13th tournament. For the past 3 years, TEE Up for Trauma has been the main funding source for UT Medical Center’s TSN program.  Due to the fundraising efforts of the Development project for this event, UT Medical Center is able to have 2 TSN Coordinators, 1 part-time and 1-full time.  This benefits more patients and families who can be served and more TSN program services that can be offered to trauma survivors, both inpatient and outpatient.

Corporate sponsors, 116 golfers, over 30 volunteers, TSN Coordinators and members of the TSN community all participated in this year's TEE Up for Trauma event. Community participants in the event were able to learn about what trauma really is and how TSN supports inpatient and outpatient survivors and their families. 
Connect with the TSN on social media:

For more information about the TSN or to share your story, please contact: 

Eileen Flores, MSW, LCSW
National TSN Coordinator
Copyright © 2018, American Trauma Society, All rights reserved.

Trauma Survivors Network
c/o American Trauma Society
201 Park Washington Court - Falls Church, VA 22046
800-556-7890 /

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