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Shining Knight Gala Archives

Each year we celebrate one patient's remarkable story of survival and the team that made their recovery possible.

2023 Shining Knight Gala - Natalie Rainer's Story

On a Saturday morning in August 2022, Natalie Rainer and her friend, Jonah Holland were struck by a vehicle while riding their bicycles. The VCU Health Trauma Team, along with the support of family and friends, have enabled Natalie to continue on, enjoying her life and honoring her friend Jonah's memory.


2023 Shining Knight Gala - Diana Eadie's Story

Diana Eadie shares her experience with losing a limb to help the newly-injured adjust and have hope as they enter a new and unexpected chapter in their lives.

View photos from the 2023 Shining Knight Gala


2022 Immeasurable Impact: The Ripple Effect of Shining Knights

Shining Knights are what we call the people who come together to save a life. Those who work in the healthcare field work as part of a huge team that will save countless lives. Patients who recover from traumatic injuries in turn greatly impact the world through their actions and thus one Shining Knight's contribution to saving just one life, can be felt for years and across borders.

2021 Featured Patient Story - Bryan Sides

After nearly losing his life in a devastating car crash, Bryan was able to resume a normal life due to the care he received from his shining knights from first responders to surgeons, nurses and many others.

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2021 Trauma Survivor "Giving Back" Story - Kristen Mallory

Kristen turned the health struggles she experiences as the result of a nearly fatal car crash with a drunk driver into opportunities to educate others and save countless lives in the process.

2019 David Johnson, Carter Lewis Story

David Johnson and Carter Lewis, are firefighters with Hanover County Fire-EMS, who suffered severe injuries on Oct. 11, 2018 after a tractor-trailer struck their fire engine as they were responding to a vehicular crash on Interstate 295 in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Michael.

2019 Trauma Survivor "Giving Back" Story - Joyce and Richard Johnson

Joyce and Richard Johnson turned the trauma of Joyce's unexpected and life threatening injuries into a catalyst for celebration.

View photos from the 2019 Shining Knight Gala

Trauma patient Malina Richardson running in a park.2018 Malina Richardson Story


With the support of family, friends and the VCU Health Trauma team Malina is now getting her life back.

2018 Shining Knight Gala: Taylor Jones' Story

Taylor Jones got support he never knew existed from the Richmond community after his near-fatal car crash. Now he's helping those who helped him.

View photos from the 2018 Shining Knight Gala

2018 Honorary Chairs

Co-Chairs Brenda and Tyler Hancock share their traumatic experience and what the trauma center means to them.

2017 Gala story

2017 Gala Story

The victim of a hit and run, jogger Denise Gorondy Toderico was thrown 50 yards from the road and lay seriously injured undiscovered for more than an hour.

2017 Gala story

2017 Trauma Survivor “Giving Back” Story

Richard Bagby shares his own spinal trauma experience to help the newly-injured adjust to the next chapter in their lives.

2017 Gala story

2016 Gala Story

Nick Watkins and his family were grateful to be able to share his inspiring journey from injury to recovery after a devastating motorcycle crash.

2017 Gala story

2016 Trauma Survivor “Giving Back” Story

After recovering from his burn injuries, Kirk McClure realized he could share his story to inspire other burn victims.

2017 Gala story

2015 Gala Story

More than five months after the car crash, Bette Wallerstein walked out the door and went home to her loving family

2017 Gala story

2015 Trauma Survivor “Giving Back” Story

Lisette Johnson works tirelessly to give back by providing a voice and resources to other domestic violence survivors.

2014 Gala story

2014 Gala Story

Candi Spraggins struggled for months to recover from a horrific car crash.

2014 Gala story

2014 Trauma Survivor “Giving Back” Story

Cole Sydnor received the Trauma Survivor Giving Back Award for helping others avoid spinal cord injuries.

2013 Gala story

2013 Gala Story

For Tony Carr, surviving the plane crash was one thing but recovering from his burn injuries was another.

2012 Gala story

2012 Gala Story

Jonathan Colson's story chronicles the path of care following a lightening strike.

2012 Gala story

2011 Gala Story

After becoming a victim of gun violence Chris Baker is able to enjoy life with his family and considers himself blessed to have survived.

2010 Gala story

2010 Gala Story

Originally injured in a motor vehicle crash, Greg Jones' trauma survival was his first step of the rest of his life.

2009 Gala story

2009 Gala Story

Delta trauma patient Willie Christy wasn't expected to survive, but then he met his trauma team.