How I Heard

My family loves to travel and was spending a week in Reykjavik, Iceland. On June 12, 2016, we were standing at a popular tourist site, Geysir Hot Springs, waiting to watch the lively Strokkur geyser spout. Strokkur explodes every few minutes spouting scalding water 100 feet into the air.  Cell phone service had been sporadic so I was surprised when my phone alerted me that I had a series of text messages. As I looked down at the messages my gut turned; simultaneously the geyser erupted. My husband and I pieced together the messages we were both receiving from friends and colleagues. The messages informed me that a mass-casualty shooting event had occurred at the Pulse nightclub and dozens of victims were being treated at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). The number of deaths reported kept rising with every message I received. I began to panic. How could the chief nursing officer (CNO) of Central Florida’s only Level One Trauma Center be 3,500 miles away in a remote location when her beloved hospital and nursing staff were experiencing one of the largest mass shootings in the history of the United States? I called Carlos Carrasco, the chief operating officer of ORMC, from the gift shop of the tourist attraction where I could get the best phone reception. He assured me that the team had the situation under control, but I could hear the devastation in his voice. Although I was confident in the team, I was desperate to be there. The tears flowed.