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“I would feel Tiara tap my leg, just making sure that I was still with her. And I would raise my hand a little, just to let her know that I’m still alive,” Patience said. “It was the longest three hours in my entire life. By the end of it I was just praying to God asking him to take the soul out of my body at this point, because if this was the way that my story was going to end, I just didn’t want to experience any more pain. I didn’t want to get shot again.”
“I was completely hopeless,” she said. “I was just fearful of the most gruesome death ever.”
She says after hours of being held hostage, she began to hear movement outside and eventually police yelled at them to move away from the walls. The shooter then ran into the bathroom stall with the hostages and began shooting again.
“Right then the police busted through the wall,” Patience said. “I truly believe that…The next bullet was intended for me. But all I knew was at the nick of time I was saved.”
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The weight of survival
Patience said when the police entered the bathroom stall she was unable to walk, and was grabbed under her armpits and dragged through the grass into a pickup truck. From the truck, they transferred her to an ambulance.
“The pain of being yanked out of a wall and then dragged through a bumpy grass with mounds and things and then just thrown on the back of a truck … That was excruciating,” she said. “My leg was ripping apart.”
The bullet that struck Patience entered her femur and shattered it. A bullet had also grazed her left leg, leaving a flesh wound that she did not notice until she was in the ambulance. When she arrived at the hospital, she was immediately rushed into surgery.
Patience Carter spent a week in the hospital in Orlando before flying home to Philadelphia.
In the days following the procedure, visitors were in and out of Patience’s room. One of those visitors was Akyra Murray’s mother, who informed her that her 18-year-old daughter did not make it out of the nightclub alive.