‘States of Grace’ Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle

Film documents Grace Dammann’s path to recovery

By Julian Guthrie

It was just after 3 p.m. on May 21, 2008, and Grace Dammann was driving her Honda CR-V across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Her 14-year-old daughter Sabrina was in the passenger seat, and their dog Mack was wedged between them.

Dammann, a physician at Laguna Honda Hospital — she had co-founded the AIDS ward there — was in the fast lane, as she was running late for a dentist appointment in Marin. She remembers little of the 3:14 p.m. crash, of the car that crossed over into her lane and hit her head on.

She didn’t die. But life as she knew it did. She had broken both legs and arms, ripped her diaphragm, torn her arteries and colon, and lost huge amounts of blood. Her brain was hemorrhaging, and she was put into a medically induced coma.

“Life really does change on a dime,” Dammann, 67, said last week.

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