ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - By now, you may have seen the photograph shared through social media by Orlando Regional Medical Center Dr. Joshua Corsa: a powerful image of his blood-stained tennis shoes from the night of the Pulse nightclub shootings.
Dr. Corsa, a senior resident in the department of surgery at ORMC, posted the photo, which gained thousands of shares.
Dr. Corsa had just purchased the shoes and was wearing them during his shift on Sunday morning. "We usually put on boots and gloves and gowns. I just started grabbing a handful of gloves and went to work and just immediately, started trying to triage," he said. "Halfway through the second patient, I turned around and we had four more patients."
He looked down the hallway and saw a line of stretchers coming at him. "Rationally, it was not hard to triage these patients. Emotionally," he pauses, fighting back tears,"sorry, like I said, I haven't had much time to sit down and think about it. It's by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do," said this surgeon who was once a medic in the Army and worked previously as a firefighter-paramedic.
It wasn't until the next morning, when he returned to the hospital, that he saw his shoes. "In the corner and really that's when it hit me. It all kind of hit me, and I broke down."
In a Facebook accompanying the photograph, he wrote, "I don't know which were straight, which were gay, which were black or which were hispanic. What I do know is that they came to use in wave upon wave of suffering, screaming and death. And somehow in that chaos, doctors, nurses, technicians, police, paramedics and others, performed super human feats of compassion and care."
Dr. Corsa said he is keeping those sneakers.