Personal experience drives Joseph Sakran to try to affect U.S. policy on firearms
Joseph Sakran knows more about the horrific impact of firearm-related injuries than the average trauma surgeon. A bullet nearly killed him 23 years ago. He was 17. At his high school’s season-opening football game, a fight broke out and someone fired into the crowd.
“A .38-caliber bullet ripped through my throat and ended up in my shoulder,” he says. He had multiple surgeries and spent six months with a breathing tube in his windpipe. His recovery kept him home for most of his senior year. He still has a paralyzed vocal cord, which leaves his voice raspy at times.
The experience inspired Sakran to become a surgeon, and it compelled him to work at the intersection of medicine, public health and public policy. His goal: “to reduce gun violence in our communities across this country.”