"You are Orlando Strong, we are Boston Strong, we are family now" – Boston bombing survivor
Orlando, FL (June 25, 2016) – Nearly two weeks after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub that claimed 49 lives, six of the survivors who are still being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center, in Orlando, FL received some very special visitors, survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing. Ten survivors, along with their service dogs, visited patients in their hospital rooms on Saturday. The survivors of the Boston bombing felt that meeting with survivors was a critical part of their mission to pay it forward. The visit to Orlando Health was facilitated by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's office.
Boston bombing survivor Celeste Corcoran and her daughter Sydney along with Dave Fortier, and their service dogs Sebastian, Koda and Zealand, met with Pulse survivor Angel Colon.
"There's post-traumatic stress and it helps to talk with someone who has been through similar situations," shared Celeste Corcoran, a double amputee.
"The folks who came and visited with us, we are still in contact with. It feels good to be able to talk to them, because it's something similar, you have a great network here," said Dave Fortier.
Celeste Corcoran shared this advice "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."
"You are Orlando Strong, we are Boston Strong, we are family now," Sydney Corcoran told Angel.
Boston survivors Eliza Gedney and Michelle L'Heureux met with Pulse survivor Rodney Sumter and shared with him that they all ran the Boston Marathon together this year in solidarity. They invited him to Boston for the marathon next April, to which Rodney responded "I want to be there."
The two groups of survivors spent Saturday morning getting to know one another, sharing their experiences and exchanging contact information so they could connect again.As of Saturday, June 25, eight patients are still hospitalized at Orlando Regional Medical Center, five are in stable condition, three are in critical condition. Surgeons at the hospital have performed 61 operations since Sunday, June 12. In total, the hospital received 44 patients from the Pulse shooting.
From the Orlando Health family: Our hearts and prayers are with the PULSE nightclub victims and their families as we continue to work through this trying time together.
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $2.3 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 2,000 physicians have privileges at Orlando Health, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 15,000 employees who serve nearly 2 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides nearly $235 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at About Us.