Trauma Survivor thankful for UMC’s life-saving care.
Trauma Survivor thankful for UMC’s life-saving care.

Jennifer Schneider shouldn’t have survived the life-threatening injuries she sustained during a car crash, but because of the high level of care she received at the UMC Trauma Center, the 26-year-old woman now has the opportunity to enjoy life and pursue her newfound dream of becoming a physical therapist.

Jennifer said she was a passenger in a small vehicle that crashed into a palm tree at a speed of approximately 100 miles per hour when an unplanned street race went horribly wrong.  Unfortunately, the two other individuals in the vehicle did not survive.

“My friends died on impact, and I was rushed to UMC,” Jennifer said. “If I would have gone to any other hospital, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

At the UMC Trauma Center, the only Level I Trauma Center in Nevada, an entire team of expertly trained surgeons and specialists were standing by to care for Jennifer. UMC trauma surgeons stopped the loss of blood and stabilized Jennifer, but her road to recovery was long and difficult. She suffered a shattered spine, cracked pelvis and shattered bones in her legs, in addition to internal injuries.

Jennifer went to physical therapy three times a week, for five to six hours per day. She began with small steps at first, then actual steps, and finally, she regained the ability to run. After a year and a half of physical therapy and nearly 40 surgeries, she has fully recovered from the near-fatal experience.

“For somebody with a pelvic injury and bilateral lower extremity injuries to recover to the functional level that she has is really amazing,” said Dr. Thomas Vater, an orthopedic spine surgeon at UMC who has followed Jennifer since the night of the crash.

Jennifer worked tirelessly to recover from her injuries, and the situation inspired her to pursue a career in physical therapy, hoping to help others on their paths to recovery.

For more information about the UMC Trauma Center, visit

Photo: Jennifer Schneider

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