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‘A day everybody remembers for the rest of their life’: Doctors, nurses look back on Aug. 3 shooting

Del Sol Medical Center
The main entrance to Del Sol Medical Center in east El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- The main goal for doctors and nurses at Del Sol Medical Center in east El Paso has always been to save lives. That was especially true last Aug. 3. Nearly one year after the shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart, some shared their experiences of that day with ABC-7.

Dr. Stephen Flaherty, director of the trauma center at Del Sol, said August 3 was a typical Saturday morning until staff started to hear information about some sort incident in the city.

“At first the information wasn’t accurate enough to know how we needed to react," Dr. Flaherty said. After learning they would need prepare to receive multiple patients with severe injuries, he huddled up his team and reminded them about the training and work that had prepared them for that moment.

“What you don’t know is how bad the injuries are going to be," Dr. Flaherty said. "And what’s going to be different that maybe you have not prepared for. Thankfully, there wasn’t anything we were prepared as well as we could have been to take care of all these patients.” 

Luis Fons, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit, told ABC-7 he was moved to the emergency room to help with the patients. He said after receiving calls from his families he knew something had gone wrong.

"Every time I walk through the doors I get that gut feeling in my stomach again, because we never know if it's going to happen again," Fons said.

He said his team at Del Sol got him through that day. The mass shooting solidified his passion for the medical field, especially now during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.



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