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Doctors, Survivors Talk About Night Of Orlando Massacre

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ORLANDO (CBSMiami) - Doctors who treated the wounded from Sunday's shooting rampage inside a popular gay nightclub in Orlando said six of the injured remain in the intensive care unit at the hospital and another five patients are in "guarded" condition.

Dr. Michael Cheatham of Orlando Regional Medical Center said 27 of the original 44 brought to the hospital are still there. He added that some people who were injured in the shooting, but didn't immediately go to the hospital, are now showing up.

"There were a number of victims that left the scene of the nightclub, they were they were trying to get away from the shooting, several of those patients has since presented to our hospitals. Yesterday we saw two patients that presented to one of our sister hospitals and there was another patient that presented this morning at another of our sister hospitals," said Dr. Cheatham. "We anticipate that we may see other victims come into the hospitals over the next few days as they identify injuries that they may have sustained."

Dr. Cheatham said some of the injured will require additional surgeries. He added that the prognosis is not good for some.

"I would be surprised if we do not see the death toll rise."

Angel Colon, who survived the massacre, said it was something he'll never forget.

"Sunday morning we were just having a great time, we were all there having a drink, it was shortly after 2 a.m. and we were all saying our good-byes, it was a great night, no drama, just smiles and laughter, and out of no where we just here a big shotgun," said Colon.

Colon said they stopped what they were doing and could hear blast after blast.

"We grabbed each other and just started running. Unfortunately, I was shot three times in my leg. I had fallen down I tried to get back up, but everyone started running everywhere and I got trampled over, I shattered and broke my left leg so I couldn't walk at all," said Colon. "All I could was just there while everyone was running on top of me."

"All I could hear was the shotgun, one after another and people yelling for help," he added.

Colon said when the gunman, 29-year old Omar Mateen, moved away he thought he was safe because other people would take him down. But then he heard him come back.

"He was shooting people who were already dead," said Colon. "I saw him coming and he shot the girl next to me."

Colon said he just lay there thinking, "I'm next, I'm dead."

Mateen tried to shoot him in the head, said Colon, but instead it hit his hand. He said a second shot hit him in the hip.

Colon said he just lay there, hoping that Mateen didn't realize he was still alive. It worked. He said Mateen moved to the front of the club and he could hear more gunfire as the cops shot at him.

Colon said a cop grabbed him by the hand and dragged him to safety.

Patience Carter was also injured in the shooting. She said she heard Mateen call 9-1-1 while he was in the bathroom where she was hiding in one of the stalls.

"You hear him talking to 9-1-1 saying the reason why he was doing this is because he wants America to stop bombing his country. From that conversation to 9-1-1, he pledged his allegiance to ISIS," said Carter.  "After that, he even spoke to us directly. He said , 'Are there any black people in here."

Carter said an African-American man in the stall that answered.

"He said yes, there are about six or seven of us. The gunman responded back to him saying that you know, I don't have a problem with black people. This is about my country. You guys suffered enough," said Carter.

As for a motive, Carter said, "The motive was very clear to us who are laying in our own blood and other people's blood, who were injured, who were shot. We know what his motive was and he wasn't going to stop killing people until he was killed, until he felt like his message got out there."

Dr. Gary Parish, the Medical Director of the hospital's emergency department, said he was working when he heard there had been a shooting. He said the ER is generally very busy, but they didn't know what was about to hit them.

Dr. Kathryn Bondani was also on duty in the ER. when they got the word that gunshot victims were heading their way.

"We didn't exactly know how many we were going to get. The senior resident and I went to the trauma bay to get ready for the patients to start coming in. Our first patient was relatively stable, awake and talking to us. We thought maybe they are all going to be like this," said Dr. Bondani. "We quickly got others which were much more critically injured."

Dr. Joseph Ibrahim was another doctor on duty and describes the horrific injuries he saw.

"We saw the full whole gamut of wounds," said Dr. Ibrahim. "Extremities, wounds to the chest, to the abdomen and pelvis area, as if they were shot from below."

Dr. Chadwick Smith choked up a bit talking about the night. He described calling in additional staff and telling them, "This is not a drill, this is not a joke."

He says everyone answered "I'll be right there," and dozens of doctors and nurses showed up to help.

Dr. Bondani said dozens of doctors and nurses showed up to help.

Cheatham said they received great support at the hospital, saying there was "never a time we were without anything we needed." He also says the facility escalated from two operating rooms to six within 30 to 60 minutes to care for the flood of patients.

More than 50 people were wounded in the attack.

Of the 44 patients brought to Orlando Regional, nine of them died, 27 are still hospitalized with six of them in intensive care.

Doctors say one or two are in extremely critical condition and should they survive, will have long-term medical issues.

And as for the shooter…

"This person had to be heartless. Heartless, ruthless," said Colon. "I don't know how someone could do something like this. Seeing all those bodies everywhere, there's no way, I don't know how."

Mateen died in a shootout with police.


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(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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