Dr. Michael Shannon dedicated his career to healing the sick. But he specialized in a very specific patient – children. As a pediatrician, he focused on healing sick babies and kids and giving them a second chance at life, if their sickness was that dire. At the start of his career, he quickly got to work helping babies survive. But he never knew that at the time that one patient in particular would alter the course of his life forever. Back in 1985 in San Clemente, California, Dr. Shannon received a call late on night that a 3.2-pound baby was born. The little boy arrived much too early and his life was at risk. The hospital needed Dr. Shannon’s expertise to give the little baby a chance at living a complete life. But even with the best care, the baby only had a fifty percent chance of making it.
Dr. Shannon did not let the odds daunt him. He got right to work. Working tirelessly, he stayed awake throughout the night and kept by the dying infant’s side. He gave everything he could to little Christopher Trokey to help him pull through and get through another minute, another hour, another day.
After all his efforts, Dr. Shannon got Christopher into stable condition. Now he just needed to maintain the baby’s progress and things could be all right.
Dr. Shannon had done the remarkable and beat the odds. But although it meant a lot to Christopher and his family, Dr. Shannon would go on to have many similar encounters over the course of his 30 years as a pediatrician. However, Christopher’s case stayed with the good doctor.
As he continued to save children’s lives, Dr. Shannon became a local hero in the San Clemente community.
But as he was driving down the Pacific Coast Highway near Dana Point, CA, he got into an accident when a semi truck slammed into his SUV. It was March 29, 2011 and Dr. Shannon’s chance of survival was slim.
The doctor’s SUV got pinned under the truck. And then the SUV burst into flames. Dr. Shannon was trapped as the fire began to burn his legs.
Fortunately, firefighters from Paramedic Engine 29 were on the road at that very moment. They arrived to help Dr. Shannon within minutes. They crew worked to extinguish the rabid flames and used the Jaws of Life to pull him from the wreck. But Dr. Shannon was seriously injured and was hurried to Mission Hospital in Mission Vejo. The next 45 days, he recovered from the horrendous accident.
Only later did Dr. Shannon learn that the firefighter who drove the Jaws of Life was none other than 30-year-old Chris Trokey – the very baby he saved that fateful night.
If Dr. Shannon had not saved Chris, he wouldn’t have been there to save him 30 years later.
“I didn’t know about until I went to the hospital and started talking about it,” said Trokey. “And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Dr. Shannon?’ That’s when I found out.”
Dr. Shannon was just as shocked.
“I do believe that things are supposed to happen when they do. I see examples of this almost daily in my life and practice.”
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