ORLANDO – An Orlando shooting survivor says she feels guilty about feeling grateful to be alive.
In a press conference Tuesday, Patience Carter, 20, recounted her night at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She says what started off as a great night out with her friends quickly turned into a nightmare. A gunman took 49 lives and injured more than 50 others.
Carter was in the bathroom with the shooter for hours, hoping to be rescued. She and one other friend survived. A third friend died.
Before telling her story, Patience shared a poem she wrote to help her heal.
“The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy. Wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready, as the world mourns the victims killed and viciously slain,
I feel guilty about screaming about my legs and pain
Because I could feel nothing
Like the other 49, who weren’t so lucky to feel this pain of mine. I never thought in a million years that this could happen.
I never thought in a million years that my eyes could witness something so tragic.
Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals.
Looking at the killer’s machine gun throughout my right peripheral.
Looking at the blood and debris covered on everyone’s faces.
Looking at the gunman’s feet under the stall as he paces.
The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy, it’s like the weight of the oceans walls crushing uncontrolled by levies. It’s like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown in the back of a Chevy.
Being rushed to the hospital and told you’re going to make it, when you laid beside individuals whose lives were brutally taken.
The guilt of being alive is heavy.”