Doctors at Le Bonheur seeing more children shot in recent years

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 7:33 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A 13-year-old girl child is being treated at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital after being shot in Frayser Wednesday morning.

We’re now hearing from doctors about the number of gunshot patients they’ve treated this year.

At least three children have been shot in the past two weeks.

Hospital officials say it never gets easier seeing wounded children.

“We get up every day and we just, [and] pray that everything’s okay,” a Frayser resident said.

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, says he’s gotten used to hearing gunshots nearby, but he says hearing about another Memphis child being shot does not get any easier.

“That’s sad, that’s really sad,” the neighbor said.

It happened on Lewier Street just before 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

The child was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, a hospital that’s seen roughly 123 gunshot wound patients this year.

“I feel like young children shouldn’t be shot,” Dr. Regan Williams said. “They shouldn’t have to come to the ER bleeding, and they certainly shouldn’t die because of what’s happening in the world around them.”

Le Bonheur began tracking gunshot wound patient data in 2017.

That year, the hospital treated 100 juvenile patients with gunshot wounds.

There were some increases over the years, but it jumped in 2020 when the hospital treated 134 gunshot wound patients.

“As you can see by the numbers, we just keep getting more and more injured patients coming in,” Dr. Williams said. “It’s frustrating because I feel like there’s nothing, we can do about it.”

But the hospital is trying.

Le Bonheur offers programs for trauma patients, specifically for victims of violent crime.

Dr. Williams says those programs are essential to helping people heal.

“When a child has such a terrible trauma happens to them (and when I say trauma, I don’t mean just physical, but trauma in general), that’s lifelong for them,” she said. “So, we as the adults in our community, we have to support, to help them recover, to help them survive and thrive after their injury.”

This message was echoed by neighbors in Frayser:

“We look out for each other, the neighbors around here; because, who else is going to look out?”

Dr. Williams also says the 13-year-old girl who was shot is now recovering in the hospital.

She says the next steps are ensuring she and her family have the tools to help her fully heal.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.