Alright mates, prepare to feel things.
Victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting won’t be charged for their hospital treatment, with news emerging that the two hospitals involved will instead be absorbing the estimated US $5.5 million ($7.2 million) in costs themselves.
Orlando Health, which treated 44 of the 51 victims of the shooting at its main hospital Orlando Regional Medical Centre, said that it was simply about paying the kindness of the community forward.
“The Pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community,” said Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong. “During this very trying time, many organisations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward.”
The families of nine patients who died shortly after arriving at ORMC will also not be charged. The hospital will be billing the insurance providers for those who had cover, but will absorb any and all extra costs.
Florida Hospital, which treated 12 of the victims and is expected to absorb about $525,000 in bills, will be covering the full costs of patients regardless of insurance. They’ll also be working to help victims’ with their ongoing treatment and potential future surgeries.
“It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” said Florida Hospital president and CEO Daryl Tol. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.”
Mario Lopez, 34, who was grazed by a bullet, suffered fragments exploded in his left hand, and split his elbow open when he fell on a shard of glass during the shooting, said it was “a huge relief” to know he didn’t have to pay his $20,000 bill.
“I was so worried because I can’t afford any of that,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “I just went out for a fun night with friends. No one expected this to happen. My life was turned upside down, and then I had to worry about how I was going to pay back the hospital.”
It is beautifully fitting that this news comes on #WearItPurple Day, a day for fighting the bullying, belittlement and invalidation felt by young members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 25, 2016
Source: Orlando Sentinel.
Photo: Billy Tsukino / Twitter.