Patience Carter

About Patience Carter

In June 2016, I woke up in a hospital bed in Florida Hospital Orlando. I had just survived one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history at the Pulse nightclub and was recovering from two massive gunshot wounds to my legs. I was in the worst pain I’d ever experienced in my entire life. The bullet that entered my right thigh shattered my femur, rendering me immobile. All I could do was lay there—thinking. Thinking about how I was able to escape the wrath of the terrorist who had entered the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.

After the Pulse shooting, I spent a week in Florida Hospital Orlando learning how to stand up with a walker, sit down in a wheelchair, and walk on crutches. I spent three months learning how to walk alone. I spent another eight long months in physical therapy learning how to walk without an extremely visible limp that made everyone ask me “What happened to you?”

I’ve lived an experience that no one else can narrate the way I can. My eyes have witnessed unimaginable things, my body has experienced unimaginable pain, and my soul has endured unimaginable fear. But somehow, I’ve been able to not only bounce back but thrive, and I now reflect upon it all not as a victim, but as a survivor and an advocate.

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Patience Carter

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