Three months after the horrific Pulse Nightclub shooting, the last hospitalized victim was discharged from hospital.
ABC News reports that Juan Jose Cufiño, who was shot four times, is now paraplegic due to one of the bullets injuring his spinal cord. Having spent two months in a “drug-induced coma,” he was able to leave the hospital after 114 days in the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
On Jun. 12, 2016, the city of Orlando was made the home of the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the Unite States. 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded as an armed gunman, Omar Mateen, opened fire in the popular night club in the city, according to the Observer. Undoubtedly, this sent shockwaves of devastation throughout Florida, the United States and the world.
On the night, some men and women sought to find refuge in bathroom stalls. They ended up trapped in the building with the shooter who then shot and killed 15 people who sought refuge in the bathroom. The shooter, who was also carrying explosives, was shot and killed by officers of the Orlando Police Department after a three-four hour standoff, according to the Observer.
In an interview done by Wesh News, Angel Colon, a survivor of the mass shooting provided very vivid details of the event.
“It was shortly after 2:00. We were saying our goodbyes. I was hugging everyone. It was a great night. Just laughter. I was talking to a girl, and then out of nowhere we heard gunfire. We all just stopped what we were doing and then the music stopped. We grabbed each other and started running,” said Colon. “Unfortunately, I was shot about three times in my legs, so I had fallen down. I tried to get back up, but everyone started running everywhere. I got trampled over. I shattered and broke my bones in my left leg, I could not walk at all. All I could do was lay there, as people ran over top of me. All I could hear was the shotgun, one after another. People were screaming and asking for help.”
Although this was quite a dreadful night for Colon, he is undoubtedly grateful that his life was spared during the incident.
It has been four months since the shooting, but the effects of the horrific event is still quite evident. According to an article written by Sarah Begley from Time Magazine, there were 76 operations performed on 35 survivors at the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
The plaguing after effects are quite evident in the life of Patience Carter who was also at the night club at the time of the shooting. In an article published by NBC, Carter shared what life has been like since the incident.
“Each day is a struggle. Each day is an up and down emotional roller coaster, just remembering the faces of certain people that are no longer here. Dancing with that person, to watching that person bleed, that’s a huge impact, changes your life forever,” stated Carter.
Carter, who is from Philadelphia was celebrating on vacation with friends when the incident took place. Though it has been extremely hard for the individual to cope, she notes that one of her coping mechanisms involves viewing the situation from the perspective of a third party. She finds this easier to do because she describes the images as being “heavy”, and seeks to think of it as someone telling a story.
Saint Leo University student, Martina McKoy, who has been living in Orlando for almost 9 years recalls how she felt when she heard the tragic news.
“Though I was not directly affected by the mass shooting, it really frightened me, as nothing like this had ever happened in the city before,” said McKoy. “When I heard the news, I was in complete shock, and I still cannot understand why any one person would perform such a horrific act. After hearing about the shooting, I was wary about going out with friends throughout the summer, and saw it best to just stay home instead. This event reminded me of how quickly things could go bad.”
The support of the Orlando community is still being felt, and it was reported by Magic Basketball Online on Oct. 11 that the Orlando Magic basketball team will dedicate their opening game to the victims of the shooting.
“Among the plans to honor the victims include a tribute video highlighting the city’s unity. The team will also hold a moment of silence and honor first responders from the night of the attacks as the ‘Hometown Heroes’. In addition, the Magic will host survivors, family members and Pulse employees at that night’s game vs. the Miami Heat.”