Saturday, March 11, 2017
WMFE’s Matthew Peddie spoke with survivors, first responders, city officials and LGBT/Latinx community leaders.The first panelists were Christopher Hanson who was in the club and survived, Dr. Joshua Corsa, Orlando Health, who wrote the viral post about his blood-soaked shoes, and Nurse Emily Brown, of Orlando Health.
Christopher Hanson was asked about his experience on the evening of June 12, and he briefly described his night. I have heard two interviews and was amazed at how brief he kept his account. Nurse Emily Brown, described her evening if hiding when reports surfaced that there might be a shooter in the hospital. She had been told that things were about to get crazy and then 36 patients arrived in the first 36 minuted. There was no time to think. Dr. Joshua Corsa was asked about his sneakers. He worked for 30 hours straight trying to save lives and when he finally had a moment to reflect, he realized his brand new sneakers were blood soaked. He wore that same pair of sneakers every day until the last survivor left the hospital.
The final panelists were Christopher Cuevas, Executive Director of QLatinx and Terry DeCarlo, Executive Director of GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. Christopher feels that people are still struggling in isolation. "Thousands of voices need to be echoed from the mountain tops." he said. Terry was outraged by the media's insistence that the 911 tapes be aired on TV. He also hated the video reenactment that was created recently. He warned as many people as he could, but a mom was making dinner in the kit hen and overheard her son on a 911 tape. That level of emotional damage is irreparable. He wished that the media could instead celebrate the lives lost, and share the stories of heros. He was thankful to those who bear witness.
The evening was part of Story Corps: Taking Your Pulse project and the first of a series of Dare to Listen events held in the community on tough topics in 2017. The long sterile hospital hallways felt strangely ominous as I navigated the maze back towards my car.