Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim Maddy Wilford became teary-eyed on Monday while speaking with reporters about her miraculous survival after being shot multiple times during the Feb. 14 tragedy.
First responders initially assumed that Wilford, 17, who was shot in the arm, abdomen and chest, was dead, as she was unresponsive. But, after realizing she was alive, a split-second decision helped save her, CBS News reported.
The outlet noted that a fire-rescue lieutenant was told to take Wilford to a hospital that was 30 minutes away, but he made a last-minute decision to take her instead to a closer hospital that was less than 10 miles from the school.
Lt. Laz Ojeda of Coral Springs Fire Department recounted his story as well, noting that Wilford looked pale and unresponsive when his team discovered her. But once he realized that she was alive, he redirected the crew to take her to Broward Health North instead.
Watch Wilford discuss her recovery below:
“I’ve never seen so many doctors, so many staff in the emergency room,” he said, according to CNN.
It was a choice that doctors now say saved the teen’s life.
Dr. Igor Nichiporenko, medical director of trauma services at Broward Health North, said that Wilford is “very, very lucky” and credited Ojeda’s decision with helping ensure she lived.
Wilford has had three surgeries since the shooting, but is recovering well. She became emotional on Monday as she thanked supporters and doctors, alike.
“I’d just like to say that I’m so grateful to be here, and it wouldn’t be possible without those officers and first responders and these amazing doctors,” Wilford said, thanking everyone who sent their love.
She continued, “I definitely wouldn’t be here without it. I’m glad I’m making a full recovery, and everything’s going so smoothly.”
Continued prayers for Wilford and other survivors who are recovering after the horrific shooting.