Jacksonville pediatric trauma center treats over 700 children in first year

Pediatric hospital marks one year in Northeast Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Since Wolfon Children’s Hospital became Jacksonville’s only pediatric trauma center last year, they’ve already helped more than 700 children and teens.

Lucas Bondarenko, 4, was one of the first patients to come through Wolfson’s pediatric trauma center.

Seeing him now, it’s hard to imagine he was hit in a parking lot in July.

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“He was right next to me and then in one second he was under the truck,” explains Lucas’ father, Ruslan Bondarenko.

Minutes later, Lucas was rushed to the trauma center, where a team of more than 20 people were ready to assist.

Dr. Nicholas Poulls,Trauma Medical Director, told ActionNewsJax, “He did require urgent surgery corrective surgery for his injuries to his face, his ear and his hand.”

Tanya Bondarenko, Lucas’ mother says, “The accident happened around 3:40 p.m. and we were already in surgery at 6 with all the MRIs, CT scans, everything was already done.”

Urgent care, resources and surgery that saved his life and weren’t available in Northeast Florida until last year.

“There are very few level one pediatric trauma centers in Florida, so it’d be a long distance that’s for sure.”

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The trauma center is able to reach patients as far as 1,500 miles away. They're equipped with two air ambulance helicopters and three Kids Kare mobile ICUs.

“We’re just so thankful to God that he’s alive and the hospital and the treatment,” Bondarenko adds.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital is one of just seven state-designated pediatric trauma centers throughout Florida and Georgia.

To learn more about Lucas' journey at the pediatric trauma center visit Bondarenko's blog here.