PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two young women, hurt in the Orlando nightclub shooting, are back home in Philadelphia recovering from gunshot wounds. They sat down with Eyewitness News, to explain that their pain goes far beyond the physical.
“This was real pain, real emotions,” said Tiara Parker, who lost her cousin Akyra Murray in the shooting. “I was really hurt, my cousin was really killed and I had to witness that with my own eyes. I had to witness that in front of me.”
At 18, Murray was the youngest of the 49 people killed inside Pulse nightclub on June 12th. Murray, Parker and friend Patience Carter were all shot. Bleeding from gunshot wounds, they huddled together in a bathroom stall for hour, while waiting for help. At one point, Parker was face-to-face with her cousin’s killer.
“I keep hearing that I was one of the only few people that made it out of there alive and looking that man in his face,” she said.
It will likely be four-to-six months before Carter will walk again, after a bullet shattered her femur.
“The thought that I’m really so unable to move around on my own is a constant reminder that I really went through this,” Carter said. “These are really holes in my legs and I really have to sit here and wait until I heal.”
Parker’s mom Celeste Williams taking on the huge task of nursing the girls back to health.
“I stay strong while I am in front of them,” Williams said. “I don’t want them to see me upset. I just remain calm and get them together, make sure they’re okay.”
As they recover together, both girls said they’re now determined to live life to the fullest.
“We almost didn’t get a second chance at life,” Carter said. “Just do whatever it is that your heart desires, speak to whoever you want to speak to. Say that they have a nice smile because you never know if you’re going to get that chance again the next day.”
“My mom used to tell me the sky is the limit, and that’s where I’m going to go, straight to the sky,” Parker said. “There is no limit technically, so I’m going to keep going.”
Murray’s funeral will be held Friday morning. Parker, her cousin, will deliver a eulogy.