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A Parkland resident reunites with healthcare workers who helped him walk again



Hollywood, Florida – Thursday was a big day for 22-year-old Zach Corliss. Healthcare providers at Memorial Regional Hospital took care of him for the past five months.

“Everything we do every day is so worthwhile when we see the end result,” said Tracy Meltzer, Memorial’s director of nursing.

While driving home last year from Florida’s gulf coast when a multicar crash involving an 18-wheeler left Corliss with a traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord injury.

Surgery after surgery, doctors weren’t sure if Corliss would survive. But he and the team behind him today did not give up.

“The toughest thing is, cognitively, I would want to do a certain thing and my body wouldn’t let me,” Corliss said.

He has regained nearly all his physical and mental capabilities with the help of trauma doctors, neurosurgeons, nurses and an emotional support dog.

“He achieved all of this with just an amazing amount of stamina and enthusiasm and the right attitude,” said Dr. Andrew Rosenthal, Memorial Healthcare System’s chief of trauma services.

“It’s just a beautiful thing to see all the puzzle pieces come together,” added neurosurgeon and spine surgeon Dr. Scott Raffa.

On Thursday, Corliss and his family thanked the team that allowed his recovery to happen — with a new outlook on life.

“The mindset that I had — that I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get all the way back even better than I was before,” Corliss said.


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