Mandy Larson, RN
Children's Hospital
Medical University of
South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

NATIONAL WINNER
2003 CHEROKEE INSPIRED COMFORT AWARD

Mandy Larson, RN

Clinical Nurse Coordinator Mandy Larson nearly lost her life as a Good Samaritan.

A clinical nurse specialist in the neonatal intensive care unit at Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital, Mandy Larson, RN, never dreamed she could die trying to save a life. Following her shift, Mandy visited her husband at the hospital-based ambulance service. An accident occurred nearby, and they ran to help. The uninjured motorist aimed a handgun at Mandy and pulled the trigger five times. Bullets hit her in the hip, arm and shoulder. She lost two liters of blood and credits her husband, an EMT, with saving her life. A hospital flight nurse and a police officer died of gunshot wounds. Following numerous surgeries, Mandy returned to work.


One of the drivers exited his vehicle brandishing a .45 caliber handgun. He shot and killed a flight nurse, then fired several shots at Mandy, hitting her three times.
- Eric Larson
Winner's Nomination

Mandy Larson's nomination was submitted by Eric Larson, Mandy’s husband, Charleston, South Carolina:

On January 19, 2002, Mandy had just finished her shift as an NNICU nurse at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital. When she got to her car she stopped to talk to her husband who had just started his shift at the hospital-based ambulance service. A few minutes later a traffic accident occurred across the street. Mandy, her husband, and several other ambulance service employees ran to assist the injured drivers.

As they arrived on scene, one of the drivers exited his vehicle brandishing a .45 caliber handgun. He shot and killed a flight nurse, then fired several shots at Mandy, hitting her three times. Mandy was rushed to the MUSC trauma center and was taken directly to the OR.

Mandy responded to the accident without regard for her own safety, with the goal of helping someone. Her co-workers consider her the most caring and compassionate nurse in the unit. She has endured four surgeries and continues to attend occupational therapy every other day.

Although she has been out from work for a year, Mandy's goal has always been to get back in the NNICU and care for her little babies. Her inspiration for healing was the desire to be a nurse again. Mandy has recently returned to work for the first time since the incident. Although she is not back to 100% yet, she is still pulling her weight and spreading smiles across the unit. That man may have broken her body, but he didn't break her spirit.

For more info on this incident, visit the website at http://people.musc.edu/~larsone/newsclippings.htm

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