Tracy's Story

Tracy was hit by a car in Florence, Italy on January 15th, 2003 while studying for the year in Florence through Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. She was on her way to dinner with her sister Tiffany, Shelly, a friend from Louisiana, and two fellow GU in Florence students, Christine and Nick. All five of them were standing on a street corner (a chained off pedestrian area) when a car came at them out of control. All five people were knocked down and everyone was able to get up but Tracy. Tracy broke her right leg, fractured her left ankle, and incurred a large laceration from her knee to her hip on her left leg. She was extremely lucky, because she did not have a head injury nor did she have internal bleeding. She had surgery on January 17th, 2003 at the Naval Hospital in Naples, Italy, on her right, broken leg and suffered a cardiac arrest in the recovery room. They were able to bring her back through CPR 8 minutes later, however she never woke up. We moved Tracy from Naples, Italy to the Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany where we found out that she did not get enough oxygen to her brain. We had to move her again to Bethesda, MD, on January 20th, where she was in the ICU at the National Naval Medical Center for two weeks. Tracy suffers from an anoxic brain injury. She was at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington DC from February 3rd, 2003 until October 10th, 2003. Tracy is now home with her family and lives in Lighthouse Point, Florida.

Tracy was a junior at the University of Miami when her accident occurred, and was on the crew team for her first two years. Tracy spent the two summers prior to her accident lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons in Naples, Italy. While studying in Florence she was able to travel to Germany, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Bosnia, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, France, and Austria.

Pictured: Tracy and Tiffany in Capri, Italy.