Louise, above right: I was awakened abruptly by my cell phone ringing. The display read CARLOS and my first thought was, Oh no. Carlos Carrasco is the chief operating officer of Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) and can handle any issue that arises. Carlos immediately told me there had been a big shooting downtown and we were getting about 20 patients. He was on his way to the hospital. I responded in a sleepy fog with, “Do you need my help?” At that time I thought that he could handle the situation due to previous experience telling me that alerts usually ended up being far less than originally reported. I asked him to call me when he got there and had assessed the situation. I laid back down thinking it was probably only five gunshot wound victims (GSWs) and I knew the team can and has handled that without a problem. As I lay in bed, my heart was pounding. I could feel it all the way to my stomach, something wasn’t right. I got out of bed and decided to call the Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU) because they receive all trauma alerts and respond to the trauma bay. Jessica answered the phone and when I asked what was going on she was calm and said, “Nothing, John is in charge and he just went to the trauma bay for an alert.” I got off the phone and turned on the news, but there was nothing about a shooting. Back to bed I went, my husband reassuring me Carlos would call me if I was needed. Just then the phone rang. It was an experienced trauma nurse from the TICU, and her words were, “Louise, it’s bad.” I responded with, “I’m on my way!”
Jim, above left: I woke up Sunday morning to so many texts and missed calls. The texts were short, “Are you OK?” “Please tell me you didn’t go out last night.” “Call me.” I listened to a couple of voicemails and they were from different administrators at work calling on their way in to ORMC telling me there was a shooting at Pulse, and they wanted to make sure I wasn’t there. I called the TICU and our clinical assistant nurse manager on duty told me what happened. I threw on some scrubs and headed in.