NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A gun violence survivor returned to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital on Tuesday to thank the staff that saved his life.
Dwight Day had a 5% chance of surviving a gunshot wound that struck him in his back and exited through his stomach on Father’s Day.
He was injured during an attempted robbery in his home in Portsmouth.
His mother, Saran Day, says it was a phone call that no parent wants to receive.
“We didn’t know if our son was alive or if he had died,” Saran Day said. “So we got here, talked to the doctors. They were able to have surgery.”
Dwight Day had massive bleeding from the bullet’s exit wound.
As he laid in what he believed was his deathbed, Dwight Day says he found the strength to survive, thanks to his family and the staff in the trauma team.
“‘I’m just a statistic so I can’t die right now,'” he said. “That’s what I was thinking in my head. You know like, I want to be something I can’t just be no statistic.”
The team from the Foresight Program helped him move back home as he recovered.
Foresight provides assistance to families for up to a year once they’re discharged from the hospital.
This includes help with housing, financial planning and unemployment.
Mary Finlay, one of the ICU nurses who cared for him, says seeing Dwight Day again made her speechless.
“Just to see him walking and talking and he’s back to his baseline so it’s a very, very good feeling,” she said. “We don’t usually get to see patients once they get out of ICU.”
As Dwight Day continues to heal, his mother continues to sing the praises of the team of angels who saved her son.
She says she wants other mothers to talk to their kids to prevent this from happening to someone else’s child.
“The young men that were involved in my son’s shooting, they are someone’s child and I feel bad for them,” she said. “And I’m praying for them as well. I’m not angry at them. And I really want to be there to see if I can support them in any type of way.”
Dwight Day says he’s getting ready to head back to school to continue studying social work to help others.
His mom is writing a memoir about this experience to help other mothers whose children were impacted by gun violence.