Evening for Healers Videos

An Evening for Healers 2018 Videos

We had a fabulous evening on May 3, 2018 as we celebrated the healers and heroes who helped save the life of gunshot victim Juan Zuniga, and helped 21 year old JoJo Simms  return to her previous active lifestyle.

Juan Zuniga and his mom, Enedina, were closing up their family's local restaurant, El Compadre, for the evening. A normal end-of-the-day routine turned tragic when Juan was shot twice in the chest while trying to protect his mother from two armed robbers. He was rushed to University Health where LSU Health doctors began work immediately to save his life. Juan lost his right lung, received over 30 units of blood, had a tracheotomy, and was placed on two rounds of Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO. After more than a month in the hospital and four months of rehabilitation, Juan has recovered from the unimaginable with the help of his family, faith, and community support. He continues to be forever grateful to those who helped save his life. 

Samantha "JoJo" Sims had just celebrated her 21st birthday when she started experiencing a headache, along with neck and back aches. Thinking she had symptoms of spinal meningitis, she went to the hospital for a spinal tap. Following the procedure, JoJo experienced debilitating headaches, a common side effect of a spinal tap. An epidural blood patch was performed to alleviate the headaches, but further complications ensued. A couple of days later, JoJo walked in to the hospital with a loss of feeling in her legs and was unable to walk out on her own. A chance conversation led JoJo to the School of Allied Health Professions Rehabilitation Clinic, where she completed a year and a half of physical therapy. JoJo never gave up, and she is now walking on her own, has returned to work, started her own small business, and continues to be a source of encouragement for others. 

Juan and JoJo's stories are told in the videos below.


2018 Evening for Healers-Juan Zuniga from LSU Health Shreveport


 2018 Evening for Healers-JoJo Simms from LSU Health Shreveport


An Evening for Healers 2017 Videos

More than 800 people gathered at An Evening for Healers on May 4 to honor 59 heroes who offered lifesaving care for patients Ray Snow and Christian Starks.

A routine ultrasound revealed that baby Christian had an underdeveloped jawbone; a condition that would cause his airway to be blocked at birth. A team of doctors meticulously prepared for the child's delivery, but early labor called for an emergency C-section and added pressure to help Christian take his first breath. With continued care from LSU Health Shreveport doctors, Christian has a fighting chance at a normal life.

Ray was minutes from home when a head-on collision left him fighting for his life. With multiple fractures, a ruptured kidney and spleen, collapsed lungs and massive blood loss, Ray experienced multiple cardiac arrests and resuscitations. His care was monitored minute to minute in those first several hours. After nearly two months in the hospital, Ray found himself on the road to recovery thanks to the lifesaving care he received.

Ray and Christian's stories are told in the videos below.


Ray Snow- An Evening for Healers 2017 from LSU Health Shreveport


 Christian Starks- An Evening for Healers 2017 from LSU Health Shreveport



An Evening for Healers 2016 Videos

Robert Jones had a suspicion that something was wrong when his sore throat didn't ease up. He learned that it was cancer. But, he also learned that one of the best experts for his case was only an hour away at LSU Health in Shreveport. A successful surgery to remove the tumor left Robert unable to speak. They team proved to him why they came so highly recommended when they restored his voice and his positive outlook.

Dr. Payton McCalmont, a School of Allied Health Professions faculty member, was delivering a routine lecture to medical students when she collapsed. She was truly in the right place at the right time. Students, residents, and faculty rushed to her side to restart her heart. It was touch and go for a few days but, thanks to the skills of critical care and cardiology specialists, Payton is once again able to keep up with her two small kids

Robert and Payton's stories are told in the videos below.




An Evening for Healers 2015 Videos

Former military officer, David Belanger was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. After receiving a very specialized type of treatment, a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation, Mr. Belanger was able to resume normal physical activity and his outlook is positive.

Hailey Clutter's parents received the devastating news that their little girl had cancer. Fortunately for the Clutters, LSU and Feist-Weiller Cancer Center parter with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis to serve patients at the St. Jude sattelite clinic in Shreveport. It is one of only six in the nation. Hailey was able to receive all of her treatment here without having to travel continuously for her care.

David and Hailey's stories are told in the videos below.




An Evening for Heroes 2014 Videos 

     When physical therapist Trent Wierick left work at LSU Health Shreveport on June 14, 2012, he wasn't expecting to return in quite the way he did. Out on a training ride with friends that evening, the cyclist collided with a pickup truck as he tried to navigate a sharp turn onto Stonewall-Frierson Road. Just hours after he left, Trent was back at LSU with life-threatening injuries to his chest and lungs. Trent fought through severe pain to regain his strength and is back on his bike--even competing in Ironman competitions. Listen to his story in this amazing video.


     Life was just beginning for Katilyn Parker. After graduating at the top of her high school class, she was looking forward to starting nursing school. Then, just weeks after her 18th birthday, she was critically injured in a car accident. Another driver, who had fallen asleep, hit her car head-on. The impact broke the bones in both her arms and legs, with especially severe damage to Katilyn's right wrist and hand. As her body heals, she continues her journey to regain her life and independence with physical therapy. You can watch her story in the video below.






 An Evening for Heroes 2013 Videos

     The happy event of giving birth nearly turned tragic for Kathy Heitz in 2011, when she began bleeding uncontrollably after a C-section. While her baby daughter was rushed to a separate hospital, Kathy was flown to LSU Health Shreveport, the only hospital in the region with the advanced surgical and obstetrics services she needed.  As  a team of doctors, nurses and surgeons worked feverishly to save her life, their new baby daughter was being cared for 100 miles away.  For Kathy’s husband, Matt, a veteran of three tours in Iraq, it was a battle of the heart.

     In 2005, Zep Washington was rescued and able to survive severe burns from a house fire in Vivian that took the lives of his parents. Zep suffered severe burns and scarring to his airway and was rushed to the regional burn center at LSU Medical Center. For more than six years, a tracheotomy tube kept him alive, but unable to talk. Repeated surgeries failed to correct the problem.  Finally, last year, an amazing medical procedure performed by specialists at LSU Health Shreveport gave Zep back his voice. His family hopes to inspire others that there is hope after even the worst tragedy.

 You can see their stories told in the videos below.


Kathy Heitz


Zep Washington



 An Evening for Heroes 2012 Videos

     In 2012, two trauma patients, Emily Davis and Susanna Moss, graciously shared with us the stories of how their lives were saved by emergency responders and the healthcare professionals at LSU Health Shreveport.  The videos below are visual examples of our Trauma system at its finest.




We were honored to have a special message sent to us by J.R. Martinez, who was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, at LSU Health Shreveport. After he served in Iraq, where over 40 percent of his body was burned, he now shares with others the message of hope and encouragement to those struggling after traumatic accidents.  Thank you J.R. for your words of encouragement to those who save lives every day!



An Evening for Heroes 2011 Videos

     In 2011, our inagural Evening for Heroes event was honored to share the stories of Michael Williams and Tim Glisson, both trauma patients from LSU Health Shreveport.  Below are their stories of survival, strength and the dramatic rescue that involved over 50 heroes saving each man's life.

Michael Williams


Tim Glisson