Carlos Abanses was born April 2, 1970 in Miami, Florida to Raphael & Gloria Abanses. A 1988 graduate of Boone High School, he also attended Pershing Elementary and Conway Junior High. Carlos spent most of his time playing any competitive sport that included a ball in his hands or feet. His competitive nature drove him and his passion for sports and medicine.
Carlos accomplished many things during his athletic career at Boone. As a sophomore at Boone High School, he played one JV soccer game and was moved up to varsity where he became a starter. As a junior, he was selected as the soccer team captain. In his junior year, he made the All-Metro Football team as a punter. This was his only year playing football. He gave up football due to his passion for soccer and in order to be the only 2-year captain of the soccer team. He played the stopper position his first two years becoming part of the dynamic twin towers with his closest friend Mike Easterling in the backfield. His senior year he moved to central midfield for the regular season and played sweeper for the all-star games. During 1986-1988 he was named to many of the All-Tournament teams but became the MVP of the inaugural Orange County vs Seminole County game. The newspapers heavily favored the Seminole County team but Orange County won 3-1 and Carlos scored off a corner kick header. In the East West All Star Game he again became the game MVP and cleared a ball off the line with a header out of the goal. He finished the year second in votes to his club teammate Richard Markham for County MVP. He became an All-State Player and then after graduating he was named by the Orlando Sentinel as one of only 2 Boone Soccer Players to the 80’s All Decade team along with Bobby Hurring.
Even with his success, soccer season was always in the winter and Carlos was a bad asthmatic in a time with very few preventative medications. His struggle with asthma just drove his passion to help others with medical issues. Although neither of his parents were doctors, he became consumed with the desire to help others. He had an opportunity to shadow his club soccer Coach Dr. Gary Miller which encouraged his desire to pursue medicine. As a senior, he was accepted in the first Orange County executive internship offering a rotation at Orlando Regional Medical Center where he spent half of the day rotating through many of their departments and then worked as a tech transporting patients.
After high school Carlos stayed in Florida and played soccer at Eckerd College where he started as a freshman. He played his first 2 years then had to quit the team secondary to science labs interfering with travel with the team. He created his own college club soccer team that tied the collegiate team. Then his senior year, he was asked to coach the Eckerd College women’s soccer team.
After college, Carlos spent 2 years on his post bachelorette at USF before starting at USF Medical School. During that time, he decided to pursue pediatrics and did his 3-year pediatric residency at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. During his residency, he worked on research related to Vic’s Vapor Rub that was later published and picked up by the Associated Press. The research article made it on NBC nightly news and could be read in every major newspaper across the world. He did interviews on Sirius and XM radio, on the Doctor Show. He decided to continue his education further by doing a 3-year fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Due to his research history, he was highly recruited while interviewing at the top positions in the country but ultimately taking a position at Children’s Mercy Pediatric Hospital in Kansas City. It was one of the first 3 fellowships in the country and had the largest trauma catchment area of any other children’s hospital in the country. During his fellowship, he worked on research involving Influenza that was later published and then selected by Symposium Medicus as one of the most influential studies of the year and was presented at multiple national and international conferences.
After Fellowship Carlos wanted to move closer to his and his wife’s family near Florida and moved to Huntsville, Alabama to take on a new role helping to set up a pediatric ER there, along with a pediatric sedation service. During his time there, he had plenty of challenging cases but none more so than a 6-year-old with a devastating stroke. With very little time and no previous evidence for treatment in this age group, he worked hard to save the boy’s life and was later interviewed by People Magazine as well as reenacting the case on Untold Stories of the ER (Episode 10 season one on Netflix). The case was published in the journals as the first child of that age to receive Tissue Plassminogen Activator and to have the clot moved using a Mercy Device. The paper has now become quoted in text books like Pediatric Vascular Neurosurgery Principles and Practice of Neurovascular Disorders (Part 1) as well as in many other articles. Additionally, he had two separate mass casualty events that made the news but made him focus on how to improve on disaster management. The first was on Novemeber 20, 2006 when a school bus fell off a 40-foot bridge with 40 passengers and 4 fatalities. The second event occurred on April 27, 2011 which had the deadliest outbreak of tornados ever with 348 deaths in one day and 238 of them in North Alabama. He worked over 24 hours straight taking care of victims.
Carlos now lives in Tampa with his wife Jolene and their 4 children; Jacquelyn (16), Javier (14), Joaquin (11) and Juan Carlos (JC 9). He is the head of Pediatric Trauma and Disaster in the Steinbrenner Emergency Department at St. Joseph Hospital and serves on the Board for his Emergency Medicine group which is the largest private emergency medicine group in the state of Florida. He spends most of his spare time with his wife and children or chasing after a much smaller round ball on the golf course.