U.S. Air Force lieutenant returns to Austin to thank trauma team

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nearly two years ago an Air Force lieutenant fell into a fight for his life. He was parachuting out of a plane, and the jump went terribly wrong.

For Lt. Hunter Davis, his heart always belonged in the sky. “I was always the kid that wanted to go to the front of the airliner and look at the cockpit.”

“From the time he could speak, this is what he said he wanted to do,” said his mother, Dana Davis.

So he followed his heart. According to his mother, Lt. Davis began taking flying lessons at age nine and soloed on his 16th birthday, before he had a driver’s license.

“I think Hunter gained a great deal of understanding about what it means to serve from his grandfather,” said Dana.

But on August 11, 2012, his life was forever changed, after parachuting 3,000 feet above ground.

“I deployed my chute, or at least attempted to, but I got terribly tied up in my lines in the initial main canopy,” said Lt. Davis.

Dana was home in Louisiana when she received the call. “I said, ‘is he dead?’ And she said ‘not yet,'” said Dana. “And she said, ‘there’s been a very bad accident. We were told he might live bout an hour.'”

“I just remember getting that ground rush, thinking this is it,” said Lt. Davis.

After the accident Lt. Davis was transferred to UMC Brackenridge, where some doctors thought they would be pronouncing him dead. Lt. Davis suffered multiple fractures to his spinal vertebrae, a damaged lung, torn arteries and lacerations to multiple organs.

But he fought, at his side trauma doctors and nurses.

“Call me lucky or call me blessed, but I’ve met the five people you meet when you don’t go to heaven,” said Lt. Davis.

On Tuesday evening, Lt. Davis spoke at UMC Brackenridge’s second annual Trauma Survivors’ Reunion. Other trauma survivors and their loved ones were also at the event, thanking the first responders and caregivers that helped save their lives. The Survivors’ Reunion will help kick of the 2014 Austin Trauma & Critical Care Conference this Thursday and Friday.

 

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