I remember waking up a few minutes after 5:00 that morning. I turned on the TV, and that’s when I heard the news of a mass shooting at Pulse and that victims were being taken to Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). I sat up, heard that there were 20 casualties so far, sent a few texts to my team and was out the door within 10 minutes. The clock in my car said 5:38 when I arrived in the hospital parking garage.
Walking into the hospital, I remember thinking, This one is real, and I said a prayer asking for strength and guidance, because I knew I would be serving people who really needed my help that day.
A crowd of people stood at the front entrance of ORMC, which was under lockdown, and I’d learn later that they were the friends and families of the victims looking for their loved ones.
And instead of the friendly faces of our Guest Service team members at the front desk, I saw a law enforcement officer I didn’t recognize, standing guard, dressed in SWAT gear and holding an automatic weapon.