Horrific Accident:  Paramedic Saves Doctor’s Life, Who Saved His Life 30 Years Earlier

Horrific Accident: Paramedic Saves Doctor’s Life, Who Saved His Life 30 Years Earlier

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Life altering encounters are all around us, and we may never know it until those series of unexplained coincidences makes us aware that what transpired in moments, or even decades ago, profoundly changed our lives forever.

This is another true life story that will leave you wondering if those random daily encounters that we all take for granted, may in fact be predestined. Obviously, we’ll never truly know for sure and perhaps that’s the way it should be.

Michael Shannon, MD, a respected pediatrician, was on his way to meet an old friend for their regular early morning walk. He would usually drive along the beautiful and scenic Pacific Coast Highway, toward Dana Point Harbor.

However, on this day, his brief ride to his appointed rendezvous would fundamentally change his life forever.

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Doctor Shannon had just passed a familiar landmark along the California coastline, instinctively alerting him to get off at the next exit a few minutes away.  Suddenly a white cloud of construction debris impaired his vision as a large semi-truck cut directly in front of him, forcing Doctor Shannon to lose control of his vehicle, resulting in an horrific accident.

I probably said a few expletives in my mind,” he recalls. “I remember the wham and the sound of breaking glass, and then everything stopped. I was sitting still.

The impact of the collision instantly crumbled the vehicle, sending shards of glass and metal fragments flying into the air. Miraculously Doctor Shannon had survived the crash and remained conscious, although he was pinned and wedged under the crumbled dashboard.

Within moments of the accident, pulsating lights could be seen in the distance as firefighters from Orange County Fire Department rushed to the scene.

Two of the men on the fire truck were paramedics assigned to Engine 29.  One was 30-year old Chris Trokey, who had been a paramedic for 8-years, quickly realized that he and the firefighters needed to quickly extract both Doctor Shannon from his crumbled SUV, along with the truck driver before the smoldering wreck became a firetrap.

However, before the men could get Doctor Shannon out of the wreckage, the smoldering wreck suddenly turned into an inferno, with only minutes to spare before the mangled and twisted wreckage would explode. The quick thinking firefighters, however, were able to keep the flames contained with their portable fire extinguisher, until they were able to hook their hose to the fire-truck and douse the engine fire out.

Soon a backup team of firefighters arrived on the scene with the “Jaws-of-Life” to cut through the mangled steel pinning Doctor Shannon. Once free of the wreckage, Trokey quickly put the severely injured doctor on a gurney and into a waiting ambulance, where he would be rushed to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.  There he would spend the next 45 days recovering from internal injuries.

After the horrific accident, Trokey was tasked with writing out a report about the incident, and that’s when it dawned on him that Pediatrician Michael Shannon, MD, was the same doctor who saved his life 30 years earlier.

Trokey was just 3.2 pounds at birth, and doctors had initially given him less than a 50% chance to survive. However, Doctor Shannon would not allow the infant to die, staying with the child around the clock for days, until the tiny baby began to slowly improve.

It’s amazing to watch them all grow up, but to have one come back in your life, on a day you really need it, that’s really incredible,” Shannon said.

On Sunday, the two met up again for a good cause, both shaving off their hair to raise money to potentially help save others lives.

It’s a great feeling, and now he’s my son’s pediatrician,” Trokey said.