Anyone following the news lately has seen the fallout from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. On March 24th, the nationwide March for Our Lives drew between 1,200,000 to 2,000,000 people, making it one of the largest protests in history. Still, while the media has covered many of the survivors and student activists who emerged from the event, there are still some stories from that day which went unnoticed.
One story in particular shows some of the unrecognized heroism of that day.
As the shooter made his way through the school, one 15-year-old student named Anthony Borges was bracing a classroom door to protect the students hiding inside. As he was using his body to keep any intruders out, he also caught five bullets from the shooter’s AR-15, causing him significant and serious damage.
After the shooter was apprehended and the incident was over, Borges was rushed to the hospital.
The results of Borges’ actions likely saved the lives of many more students. Because of his injuries, Borges had to undergo many different surgeries but remains resilient throughout the process. According to Borges’ family lawyer, Alex Arreaza, Borges is doing his best to remain strong:
“He’s doing OK now . . . This kid is an athlete, and he’s obviously in very good shape. He has grit and is super tough—and that’s what it takes. He’s defied all odds, and he continues to do so.”
So far, Borges’ condition has improved from critical to fair after multiple surgeries. Through it all, Borges heroism has earned him visits from the local sheriff’s department and has inspired people all around the world. Because Borges had recently moved to Parkland from Venezuela only three years prior and had intended to train to play soccer at Barca Academy in Fort Lauderdale, a youth program run by the Futbol Club Barcelona based out of Spain.
In response to hearing about his injuries, the team’s players even sent along a signed club jersey to boost his spirits.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Borges may have recently had his final surgery and will soon be on the way to a full recovery if everything keeps going the way it is. Although his GoFundMe has already raised plenty of money, the family and other physicians have noted that the medical costs will likely exceed one million dollars, a number that the page has not yet reached.
Although the media coverage of the Parkland shooting has taken a shift into something larger and more political in recent days, it’s easy to forget that at the core of this story are people dealing with incredible hardship and trauma. While many of the Parkland students have gone on to organize politically and to get involved in gun regulation, the larger the story gets, the easier it is to spin. Stories like Anthony’s help remind us of the cost of attacks like these and the strength of those who endure them.
Get well soon, Anthony!
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