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Ramoni Burns-Driskell

From innocent bystander in a shooting to a survivor: Ramoni shares her experience with traumatic surgery and recovery at Research Medical Center.

June 13, 2023
Ramoni smiles while talking with a medical care professional.

“I only have one kidney and now I walk with a limp. I was shot over nine times. If it hadn’t been for my Research Medical Center care team, I wouldn’t be here. I may be different now than what I used to be, but because of them I am alive, and now I am the new ‘Moni.”

Ramoni Burns-Driskell, 22, had dreams of advancing her career from being a Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) to becoming Certified Medication Technician (CMT). The Kansas City native and mother to a three year old daughter, spent her days caring for her great-great-grandmother as a CNA and was going back to school to earn her CMT credential until she found herself as an innocent bystander in a shooting on January 20, 2022.

“I was picking someone up and got caught in the crossfire. I was clueless. I took the brunt of the shots to my side of the car,” Ramoni says. “First shot was to my head and it made me black out. Never in my life would I say I was lucky for blacking out after being shot; if I had been awake, I would have moved around and died.”

Ramoni was rushed by Kansas City Fire Department to Research Medical Center’s ACS Verified Level I Trauma Center where surgery was performed by Mark Lieser, MD, and John Chipko, MD, both trauma surgeons. During surgery, it was discovered that the bullets injured her right kidney, colon, liver, pancreas and the first portion of her small intestine. Due to the extensive damage, Ramoni underwent an extremely complex series of surgical procedures to both remove the injured organs and then reconstruct her GI tract.

“It is not an understatement to say that Ramoni underwent what is probably the most complex operation a person can have in their abdomen,” said Dr. Lieser. “For her to be here to tell her story is a testament to the dedication and expertise of her entire care team, to the support she received from her family and to her fighting spirit.”

Throughout her ordeal, Ramoni reflects on the positive moments of her nearly five month stay in the hospital, citing the incredible team of physicians, nurses and physical therapists for the reason she was able to recover and have a new outlook on life.

“My care team was amazing. They nurtured me back to health. They got me out of bed and encouraged me to keep going. I reached every goal I had and surpassed some of them,” Ramoni says. “I love the support I still have from them. I love that even when my grandpa was at Research Medical Center, he had the same rehab team I had and it felt like a family reunion.”

In May 2023, Ramoni and her family reunited with the EMS crews and care teams who saved her life at RMC’s annual Great Save Event. It was there that Dr. Lieser reflected proudly on Ramoni’s determination to get stronger.

“During her rehab graduation, I asked her how she was getting around and walking on her own,” said Dr. Lieser. “She said she didn’t want to tell me anything, she wanted to show me. Before I could say anything, she was up and walking around, up and down the halls. It was a very moving thing to witness as a physician.”

“Thank you for putting your caring hands on my daughter and not letting go,” said Romani’s mother to her daughter’s entire care team at the Great Save Event.

Everything that happened to Ramoni, she says, couldn’t have happened better.

“I believe what happened to me, while unfortunate, was a lesson I needed to learn. And you know what? I’m alright. I am glad God got me through that. I may not be the same anymore, it has taken me a whole year to realize I am different and I still have a long way to go. I’m just trying to be great. There is no point in wasting life.”

Ramoni smiles while using a cane to walk during recovery from being shot.
Ramoni smiles while sitting in a hospital bed with her daughter.
Ramoni smiles while standing with the KCFC Fire EMS team in front of a red ambulance.
Published:
June 13, 2023
Location:
Research Medical Center

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