Page 10

2014 Community Trauma Report

A party, followed by a ride home from a friend who had been drinking, almost cost 16-year-old Peyton Grasso her life. After multiple surgeries at University Hospital, and many hard months of rehabilitation, Peyton is getting ready to start college, and speaking out about underage drinking and driving. Peyton Grasso left the party in the same car in which she arrived, driven by the same friend. What changed on that warm summer night, between those two points in time, was the blood alcohol level of the driver. Peyton, a 16-year-old honor student, recalls little of what happened on the ride home. The young driver apparently swerved on a curve in the road, then accelerated rather than hit the brakes. The car flipped three times and crashed into a utility pole. When first responders arrived, they found Peyton hanging out of the mangled car. Among her many injuries, she had lost her right leg. Once they removed her from the car, her heart stopped. She was resuscitated and rushed by AirLife to University Hospital. She had suffered a serious head injury, both lungs collapsed and she had damaged the vertebrae in her neck. She underwent multiple surgeries, remaining at University Hospital for more than a month — part of that time in a medically-induced coma. She wound up with rods in her legs, both the partial right leg and the complete left leg. Rehabilitation was long and hard, and continues today. Because of her academic achievement she was granted early admission to Louisiana State University as a pre-med major. And she’s become an advocate for safe driving, her story shared widely in TV and print stories, and on social media. “I’ve been told by both teenagers and adults that they’ve reevaluated their own actions, and how they talk to their kids,” Peyton said. “I like being an advocate, speaking out against both underage drinking and driving while drunk.”


2014 Community Trauma Report
To see the actual publication please follow the link above