after it had severed the boys arm in the surf off a Florida beach July 6. Theres the park ranger who shot the shark, and the volunteer firefighter who retrieved Jesses right arm from its gullet. And theres the USC-educated orthopedic surgeon who reattached that arm and patched up the boys mangled knee.
Juliet de Campos 78, MA 80, MD 84 happened to be on call in the emergency room at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., the night a rescue helicopter brought in 8-year-old Jesse his body nearly drained of blood and without a pulse, his right arm severed between elbow and shoulder, one-third of his thigh torn off. During 11 hours of grueling surgery, De Campos, two other surgeons and a large support team struggled to save Jesses life. In a replant procedure, De Campos reattached the boys right arm (retrieved from the sharks stomach, packed in ice and delivered within an hour by ambulance), shortening the humerus bone on both ends to ensure a tighter fit. She affixed a stainless-steel plate with screws to hold the bone together. While other surgeons restitched the muscle ends, nerves and blood vessels, De Campos directed her attention to Jesses right leg, sewing up the exposed knee joint.
Afterwards, facing a bank of TV cameras, De Campos modestly passed much of the credit for her limb-saving actions to her alma mater, citing her training at the Keck School of Medicine of USC for her ability to perform world-class trauma surgery in a small-town hospital.
Theres no place for trauma surgery training as good as USC, De Campos says. Besides earning her undergraduate, masters and medical degree from USC, she did her internship and residencies at USC hospitals, and until 1998 was a clinical assistant professor in the Keck Schools Department of
The daughter of a Los Angeles doctor, De Campos fell in love with USC at the age of 10, after watching USC beat the Bruins in 1967. Later, as a Presidential Scholar and National Merit Scholar at USC, she triple-majored in biology, exercise physiology and journalism (she was a sports editor for the Daily Trojan). After graduate studies in exercise physiology, and her internship and residency, she worked in sports medicine, serving as team doctor for the U.S. national judo team and for several sports at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 1998, she moved to the Florida Panhandle and joined two other USC-trained orthopedic surgeons in creating Emerald Coast Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Were a little island of USC, says De Campos. One that became a safe harbor for a little boy pulled from the jaws of the sea.
|Alumni by Year
Juliet De Campos '84