Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Maddy Wilford, a junior, sustained several gunshots during the Valentine's Day massacre in Parkland, Florida.
She was barely conscious when first responders found her. Lt. Laz Ojeda teared up at a press conference Monday describing how pale she looked and that her blood pressure was extremely low.
"I want to say something that I thought -- I teach EMT at high schools and I'm always stressing how the basic things are more important than the advanced procedures we perform" Ojeda noted. "I looked at Maddy and she didn't look 15. We had been told to take her to Broward General, 30 miles away from the school. Thirty miles with a patient in decompensating shock. I gave her a sternum rub and said 'how old are you?' No response. I gave her a second sternum rub and said, 'Hey! How old are you?!' She came around. She told me was 17."
Ojeda began to cry. He told the driver that he wanted them to go to a closer hospital.
After several surgeries to save her life at Broward Health North, Maddy thanked first responders and the outpouring of support. Metal plates are currently holding her ribs together after the bullets from the AR-15 pierced her body.
She noted that she was glad her fellow students were all sticking together and told those listening how grateful she was to be there.
Maddy's doctors explained during the press conference that it's possible she might not have made it if they took her to the hospital further away. Typically youth under 15 years-old have to be taken to the hospital further away and that's why it was important to get her age. However, rules that dictate mass casualty incident (MCI) allow for any and all injured to be taken to the nearest hospital.
Watch the video below: