total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Patrick Deel

National Gun Violence Survivors Week coincidentally falls at the same time as the date I was shot. On February 7, 1991, I reported for work for what I anticipated to be another quiet day at the hotel. Shortly into my shift, a man entered the lobby with a gun and proceeded to shoot me (twice) and two other individuals.

I wish I could put into words how my life has changed since then. Twenty-nine years later, I wish I knew what life could be like without the enduring PTSD and memories of that day. The experience that day was surreal. I couldn’t believe what was happening as it was happening. I don’t remember what life was like before being a gun violence survivor, to be able to say how my life has changed.

I did survive, and the outpouring of support from my family and friends was overwhelming during that time and in the time since. As more and more Americans live life as survivors of first or secondhand gun violence, that support is key to our ultimate, collective survival.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.