Columbine: Beating The Odds

He will always be remembered as the boy in the window at Columbine High School, reports CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara.

As scores of other Columbine students ran for their lives that day, 17 year-old Patrick Ireland, partially paralyzed with two bullet wounds to the head, dangled from the library window pleading to be rescued. His shirt was soaked in blood as the life literally drained from his body.

A police SWAT team finally reached him. As officers tugged on his hands, dragging the boy over broken glass, the boy dropped from the school building to safety like a rag doll.

Patrick Ireland (AP)
Today, Patrick Ireland wears a baseball cap to cover the scars from brain surgery, but he's made an amazing come back from the brink of death. "I sometimes have little muscle spasms in my legs, but I'm feeling great," he said at a news conference Friday.

Patrick still has some paralysis in the right side of his body and damage to his brain affects his speech, "The words get mixed up in my head sometimes, and I'm not sure of all the meanings of the words," he says.

But he's alive, and that is what is most important to his mother, "We know that everyone has been wondering what happened to the boy in the window, and he's doing really, really well and so are we," says Kathy Ireland.

In the massacre's chaos, Pat didn't see the shooters and only vaguely recalls his rescue. But he does remember why he went out the window, "It was the shortest way down, out, and because my whole right side was paralyzed and because I felt confident there was someone there to catch me" he says matter of factly.

Pat faces a long recovery but is anxious for life to get back to normal and fade from public attention, "I want to go back to school as quickly as possible," he says.

But the image of Patrick Ireland near death, hanging from a window of Columbine High School, has been seared into America's memory. He will always be the boy in the window, the boy in the window who survived.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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