A car accident caused Jackson Gutierrez to lose both of his legs and left him with severe burns.
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- It was an emotional and uplifting moment as 21-year-old Jackson Gutierrez walked into Providence Mission Hospital to thank the doctors and nurses who saved his life.
A little over two years ago, Gutierrez was visiting friends in Orange County on winter break when he was involved in a near-fatal car accident. He lost both of his legs and suffered from severe burns.
"I'm here to express my gratitude and say thank you to all the people who performed the life-saving surgeries on me when I was a passenger in a car crash in December of 2021," Gutierrez said.
"He had multiple injuries. He had a head injury, he had internal injuries, he had a lot of muscular-skeletal injuries, obviously the bilateral amputations and then the burns were severe as well," said trauma physician assistant Ashley Mergelmeyer.
Gutierrez thanked the medical team who helped him with his miraculous recovery. He's up walking again with prosthetic legs and reunited with doctors who gave him a second chance at life.
"I think me coming back, they told me they were grateful for that because it added that human element back into the job where they get to see what they do and how it can positively impact someone's life," Gutierrez said.
"He's doing great and he's using his traumatic event to really enrich people's lives," said trauma nurse Amy Langdale.
Gutierrez said his return is a reminder of the personal strength and challenges he has had to face since the accident.
"When I have the opportunity to talk to people and express all the things I've been through and things I've overcome; people get to see it in a different light," Gutierrez said.
Now, Gutierrez plans to finish school at Texas A&M where he's majoring in sports psychology.
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