INDIANAPOLIS - Hoosier trauma doctors are hopeful more money will be found for a program aimed at keeping repeat victims of violence out of the ER.
At only 14 years old, Tony Hopkins learned one of life's hard lessons – and it happened at school.
"[I was] expelled from school," Hopkins said. "A dude had a gun and he passed it to a girl, and then she passed it to me. I put it in my locker and got caught with it."
Not only was Hopkins expelled from school, he was also arrested. As part of his probation, Hopkins was enrolled in a 5-year-old program through Eskenazi Hospital called Prescription for Hope.
Hospital officials started the program after treating the same revolving door of victims of violent crimes.
"When the 17- or 19-year-old kid gets shot, gets admitted to the hospital, right then is the time to approach them and talk to them because that's the time when they're most susceptible to change," said Dr. Gerardo Gomez.
Prescription for Hope began in 2009 with a $258,000 crime prevention grant through the city. With mentoring and counseling, Eskenazi officials say the rate of violent injury recidivism has gone from nearly 31 percent to just under 5 percent.
But funding has also dropped for a program that medical officials say is saving lives.
Rhonda George, Hopkins' mother, is among those who say Prescription for Hope has been a blessing for her and her son.
"The program shows the reality of the situation if you get shot or, in Tony's case, you hold it for someone," George said.
DOG FLU: Owner says day care 'extremely safe'
Veterinarians continue to issue warnings about the dog flu outbreak, but some local business owners are saying the warnings are pointless and…
Two men convicted in 2013 murder, robbery
Two men were found guilty of robbing and killing a 35-year-old father as he worked to make extra money for Christmas
Elderly man ID'd after fatal east-side crash
An elderly man was killed in a crash on the city’s east side Wednesday afternoon.
Some Southport HS students, staff exposed to TB
Some students and staff members at Southport High School were exposed to tuberculosis by a fellow student.
Vets advising dog owners to be cautious of flu
Local veterinarians are reaching out to pet owners to warn them canine influenza could hit Indianapolis in a matter of days.