As of June 27th, 15 days since the Pulse nightclub shooting, the Orlando Sentinel states, “the majority of more than 50 patients admitted to local hospitals have been discharged. Of the initial 35 patients admitted to ORMC (Orlando Regional Medical Center), seven are still hospitalized: five are stable, one is in guarded condition, and one has remained in critical condition.” Florida Hospital’s website stated on June 28, 2016 at 8:33 a.m., “The last patient from the Pulse nightclub shooting treated by Florida Hospital has now been released.” Initially there were 12 Pulse patients. “Surgeons at the two hospitals have performed nearly 70 surgeries, 62 of which have been performed at ORMC.” One more surgery was scheduled at ORMC on Monday, according to the hospital.
This is great news to hear, as we see the physical healing of these patients. However, when someone goes through a traumatic experience such as this, the emotional wounds take much longer to heal. In an effort to boost the morale of these individuals, 10 survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, along with their service dogs, visited the patients in their hospital rooms and offered words of encouragement. The bombing survivors stated that they came to Orlando “to show that they survived, that they're happy and that there is hope beyond the immediate darkness.”
“We are able to relate on a scale some folks may not be able to do,” Dave Fortier, a Boston bombing survivor, told NBC News of the event. “We are showing them some of the things we learned.” Speaking from their own experiences, those at the Boston bombings offered advice on how to cope during this difficult time.
Angel Colon received a visit from Boston bombing survivor Celeste Corcoran, her daughter Sydney, and Fortier — along with their service dogs Sebastian, Koda and Zealand. They gave him advice and support. Celeste stated, "There's post-traumatic stress and it helps to talk with someone who has been through similar situations. People who try and spread hate — it does the exact opposite, it brings together strangers and we are more tolerant of people, what happened was horrific and should never have happened but in their memory we choose to be nice to someone else, to pay it forward." Sydney Corcoran also offered Angel the encouragement of unity stating, "You are Orlando Strong, we are Boston Strong, we are family now." The survivors shared their experiences and exchanged contact information to ensure that they would meet up again. Boston survivors, Eliza Gedney and Michelle L'Heureux even invited Pulse survivor Rodney Sumter to come to the Boston Marathon with them next April to which Sumter replied, "I want to be there."