One of the survivors of the Orlando shooting says she went from having the time of her life with her friends to the worst night of her life in a matter of minutes.
Twenty-year-old Patience Carter read a poem to reporters about her survival that she penned as she lay recovering in the hospital on Monday night.
“The guilt of feeling alive is heavy,” Miss Carter read at a news conference from Florida Hospital Orlando on Tuesday, telling those assembled the poem was part of her healing process.
Miss Carter, from Philadelphia, said that she was with a group of friends at the Pulse nightclub when she heard the gunshots in the early hours of Sunday.
She had gone to Pulse nightclub while visiting the city on holiday with her friends Tiara Parker and Akyra Murray, 18-year-old cousins, and Miss Murray’s parents.
Miss Murray initially escaped the club with Miss Carter, only to turn back to try and find Miss Parker. She died in the attack.
“We went from having the time of our lives to the worst night of our lives, all within a matter of minutes,” Miss Murray said.
The trio ended up held hostage by Mateen inside one of the bathrooms.
“We were all scrambling around in the bathroom, screaming at the top of our lungs,” she said.