Bishop Chatard alumni reunite with team who saved their lives after crash

Crash victims reunite with the team who saved their lives on June 30, 2017. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A trio of young men are thanking the medical team who saved their lives after a 2016 crash.

24-Hour News 8 spoke to three of the five Bishop Chatard alumni who one year ago Friday were nearly killed in a crash.

The friends told their story and thanked the doctors that helped save their lives.

The crash happened on Interstate 74 between Indianapolis and Shelbyville.

Their van rolled over and went airborne, and putting their young lives in peril.

It was an emotional reunion at IU Health Methodist Hospital on Friday.

“Every day, they would just come in and check on you, and they’d get their job done and the nurses were absolutely fantastic,” said Lewis Dilts, one of the crash victims.

Dilts can smile now, but just one year ago, his future was unclear.

“I couldn’t move; I was on my side. I don’t know how to describe it — it was like getting stabbed everywhere at the same time as getting run over by a bunch of trucks,” said Dilts.

He was thrown from a van he and four classmates were traveling in.

“Everybody that I cared about was either unconscious or screaming,” said Patrick Brogan.

They were coming back home from a summer job when the van crashed.

Three of the five in the van were rushed to IU Health Methodist Hospital.

“I didn’t really realize what was happening until I got to the hospital,” said Patrick Brogan, another crash victim.

“I remembered at one point thinking that I’m running a massive transfusion on three patients, and I hope we don’t run out of blood,”  Dr. Jennifer Hartwell, who treated the three following the crash.

The news of the crash was tough for their friends at Bishop Chatard High School. They held a blood drive the very next day.

“Based on their type of injuries, a lot of people with those types of injuries don’t have as good of a recovery as these guys did, so it’s truly amazing to see them here today,” said Hartwell.

But the past year has not been easy, including dozens of surgeries and a lot of rehab.

But they’re here. They’re alive.

And things once taken for granted are now cherished.

“It’s more like you’re thankful for everything that you have, really,” said Timmy Brogan, the third crash victim.

And they say they have their doctors to thank for that.

IU Health Methodist is the largest Level I Trauma Center in the state, the 15th in the country.

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