University of Virginia running back Mike Hollins has made it safely through a second surgery after he was shot as he and several classmates returned from a field trip Sunday night.
“He is up, he is aware, and the prognosis is positive,” said Joe Gipson, chief operating officer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. Gordon McKernan is acting as the Hollins family’s spokesperson. Hollins’s mother, Brenda, works for the firm.
Hollins was no longer on a ventilator, Gipson said, and was doing as well as could be expected after the injuries he suffered.
Hollins apparently was shot in the back, but the bullet "missed most major organs," said Gipson. But it did hit a kidney, Gipson said. The surgeries were to repair damage from that, he said.
Gunshot wounds to the abdomen have a high fatality rate, according to a National Institutes of Health’s Library of Medicine, in part because of the likelihood that internal organs may be damaged. Often, the intestines or liver are hit by the bullet, causing extreme blood loss in addition to trauma to the organ. Victims can die from infection or loss of blood, according to the site. In addition, infection from the wound can turn septic, which often results in death.
Bullets can often leave fragments behind. According to the site, initial surgeries after a gunshot wound to the abdomen are emergency procedures to repair the wound and to keep the patient from bleeding out. A second surgery to remove small pieces of metal from a bullet is often necessary.
In Hollins’s case, "they knew there would be a second surgery Sunday night," Gipson said, so Tuesday’s surgery was not a surprise.
Gipson did not know whether Hollins was aware of his teammates’ deaths.
Hollins was one of two people who survived Sunday night’s mass shooting. One of the surviving victims was going to be discharged Tuesday. The other was in “serious condition,” UVA Health public information officer Eric Swensen said. Health privacy laws prevent the sharing of private medical information.