Layla, Seattle and Leyla discussed on AFTERMATH



Shoulder and I thought, you know, maybe I should play dead now. So why did I kind of flopped over? And I guess I'm glad he wasn't a good shot because I don't think he was aiming for my shoulder heck had been screaming at the women not to call nine one one, but a pregnant woman named Dana Klein dialed at anyway. She had been shot through the arm already and was desperate to keep her baby alive. Hock hurt her on the phone called her stupid berated her for not following his orders and threatened her with this gun. She passed him the receiver. Any spoke with a dispatcher who somehow managed to convince him to give himself up, and eventually paramedics came in and got me. And they cut my favorite pair of pants off of me, which was very distressing and they realized I had a back injury and got me out of the building. I got into the ambulance, and they gave me an IV and I made a joke with the ambulance driver about how you know. I'd just been shot twice and it's still hurts to get an IV and. They thought that was really funny. And apparently they later came tell my parents that story because they, you know, I was cracking jokes with them while I'm bleeding and injured horribly. And yeah, yeah. Your mind works in weird ways and those kinds of situations. Layla inner surviving co. Workers were taken to the hospital. The rampage lasted sixteen minutes. The what if thoughts began immediately for Layla and they've never really stopped. She's quick to say that she understands it was completely natural that she froze at the site of a gun interface that I think about the huge fire hydrant. I had behind my chair at the desk and I'm like, what? If I'd been able to pull that out and whack him in the head, you know, maybe I could have kept us all from getting shot. You know, would it have been worth it to try to? You know, I wish that I had been able to talk to him and have a dialogue with him. I just froze though I couldn't Leila's memories from the hospital or vague and blurry, but she recalls her parents telling her that our co worker pan had died and that other co workers were badly injured. She remembers her risks being tied the hospital bed precaution to keep her from ripping up the tubes that were keeping her alive. I can look down at my body and I lost a lot of weight both from, you know, not moving, you lose muscle mass, but also because of. The use of a hollow point bullet hit almost every internal organ. Thankfully, my intestines were not hit, but pretty much everything else. The artery that leads to my left kidney was damaged. My pancreas spleen, stomach liver, and my vertebrae that artery damage means that are left kidney is it's pretty much tripled up. I guess it just stays in your body as long as there's no infection. They just leave it there. There's no reason to remove it. The pink is damage was a bigger problem. Doctors removed a chunk of it. Then tube fed her a special diet with very little fat. So that are paying Chris was basically allowed to rest and heal. It was some really gross experiences of them like sucking the food out of my stomach after wild, see how much food had been digested, just a measure it. That's a really strange sensation. The spinal injury had the longest lasting effects when Layla talks about it. She slips in and out of medical jargon with ease at that point of the vertebrae. There's something called the cod Acquino, which are these nerves that kind of come out of your vertebrae and go down. She had had a small introduction in a medicine when she helped her mom study for nursing school as a kid, but that's not why Layla has made a point to learn so much about her injuries. Something happened that was outside of my control, and it changed my body and my life forever. And so by gathering this knowledge, I guess it gives me a little bit more of a sense of of power. I guess. Like I, you know, I can. I can. I know exactly what's happening here so that makes it okay or not as bad as just feeling super Volna Rable and not knowing the words and not knowing what's happening. It helps her to talk calmly about her injuries of which there's no shortage, and there's always new pains and new problems and new doctor's appointment. And because it's something concrete she can grasp it's harder for her to explain what's happened to her psychologically. After the shooting, she knew her attention should be on a recovery. So she did what to others. Surely seemed rash. She broke up with her boyfriend. It had been heading that way anyway. She says, but doing it from her hospital bed was extra awkward. Her parents stepped up to take care of her, but she was mindful that they were also traumatized by what had happened to her and any situation like this, the repercussions are there's a person who's injured and then everyone around them also suffers in different ways. At twenty three Leyla had never seen her parents so rattled. I think particularly for my dad, it made him feel really vulnerable that you know, I'm an only child and almost losing me was really difficult for them. You know, I remember when they were trying to get me to breathe on my own again in the hospital, my dad would yell at me to breathe, and so they they take out his brave free and eventually they had to have him leave the room because it was stressing me out a little bit because he didn't want me to have to go into a crisis situation where I couldn't breathe and they had to reintegrate me and you know, it's dangerous. Once Layla was discharged from the hospital, her father stayed with her and Seattle to help recover. She could see how tough it was for him in how hard he was fighting for her in the limited ways he could. I think it's difficult to deal with that kind of vulnerability that's really wrong. And even you know, when he was taking care of me and trying to get weight back on me, he was putting like butter and hold fat milk and making me drink insurers. And I was just like sick of all of the eating. But I, he just wanted me to be better so much. You know, he's kind of force feeding me. After six weeks or so. Her dad left and Layla set her sights on getting strong enough to go back to work. She figured six months was a reasonable goal. She hired someone to help out with grocery shopping and heavy lifting as she recovered alone in Seattle, but she largely was taking care of herself and pretty proud of that fact. She was in a lot of physical pain and her doctors told her it would be a good year or even two before she would know just how damaged her nerves were. The bullets were abdomen, leached lead in her spinal cord fluid, but not enough to paralyze her. She wears the brace on her right leg. The muscles of which are significantly weaker and more atrophied than are left. The brace keeps her foot from dropping now also provides me with a little bit of weight here in the front of my niece if my knee starts to give out because he can kind of tell the difference between muscles between my legs and so this leg will just sometimes just give out. And it provides just a little bit of of force on my shin to like, give me that feedback. Like, hey, you need to watch yourself. You're about to fall and to help me snap my knee back. She faced challenges, but she was optimistic not only victims fund been set up to help her and her co workers, but she had received an outpouring of support nationwide. Mass shootings were less frequent than in this one targeted for religious reasons had resonated Leyla got cards and letters from long ago, acquaintances and even complete strangers. She reconnected with old college friends and instructors. She felt like everyone had her back when she finally felt strong enough to go back to the Jewish Federation. The building had been totally remodeled. The floor plan was open now. So people could see what was happening around them. Bulletproof glass had been installed in the entry a new security system with butter. And secret lights had been installed. So everyone could be stealthily alerted to a problem in the building. She wasn't nervous. Going back. In fact, I was excited to get to see everyone. Now, a lot of those people were like my friends, a lot of them shared the experience with me to some degree. A lot of us victims had like a little powwow together and office, and it was very supportive environment. She got to work during the types of receptionist jobs. She did before writing birthday cards to major donors and stacking supplies, but something nagged at her as really tricky because I went back and I was like, hey, have you guys done any like drills with all this new like safety equipment? Have you practiced? What would happen if someone came in with a bomb or someone was being held hostage? Nothing. And I mean, I understand that something like that could be retraumatize ING, especially so soon after. But I mean, if you have all this equipment and all this fancy safety stuff, he should probably practice it. And I found the more and more I went in the more anxious I was getting. I was getting kind of panicky. I wasn't able to focus on my work. And I mean, I was just like addressing birthday cards. So it wasn't like it was like really difficult. But between the pain of sitting and the feeling of not being safe there, I've actually was like, can't do this anymore. Here's a life lesson. You can count on. You won't get better at anything. If you aren't honest with yourself about what you're doing wrong, the truth is one thing most of us are getting wrong is our tooth brushing routine. Most of us are brushing teeth incorrectly, not brushing for long enough and forgetting to change our brush on

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