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Pulse shooting victim says physical wounds healing faster than emotional wounds

Memorial grows for Pulse nightclub shooting victims

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rodney Sumter, a guest bartender who was shot three times in the Pulse nightclub shooting, said he feels like the country has already moved on to the next mass shooting. But here in Orlando, one month later, we still remember.

"That night when I was shot in the back, I couldn't breathe and I really thought I was taking my last breath. I asked God to look over my kids and family," said Sumter.

On June 12, just past 2 a.m., Sumter was on the ground behind the bar at Pulse with three gunshot wounds, thinking he was about to die. So he prayed and he said that prayer worked.

"He kind of restored me with life again and once I was able to take that breath again on the floor, I was able to get up and leave the bar and run, so I was able to make that move," said Sumter.

Sumter went from believing he was about to take his last breath, to sprinting to go find help. He ran into the arms of another Pulse clubgoer Chris McGill, who led him to the hospital, where he's been until last week.

Tuesday morning, one month after the attack, Sumter went to his first physical therapy appointment after sustaining gunshot wounds in both elbows and his back. He has countless surgeries and staples but tells News 6 his recovery is strong.

"Being shot in the back and not hitting a spine or any internal organs, I just thank God every day. You can't thank Him enough for that."

But he says his physical wounds are healing faster than his emotional ones.

"It still hasn't settled in that 49 people died that night."

He's thankful for the support given so far by not just from star athletes who visited him in the hospital like Orlando City's Ricardo Kaka and his old football teammate Tim Tebow, but from the support of Orlando.

Thanking God for listening to that simple prayer that gave him a second chance at life.

"I'm just thankful to be alive again," Sumter said. "Just knowing that God gave me the chance to be with my child, just to be with my children and my family one more time."


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