Jun 27, 2016 4:14 PM GMT
http://wlrn.org/post/estimated-cost-orlando-shooting-385-million-and-doesnt-include-mental-health-counselingEstimated Cost of Orlando Shooting: $385 Million. And That Doesn't Include Mental Health Counseling
He heard gunshot after gunshot after gunshot. It was too many to count. But then there was a brief break in the firing, and Perez ran out the back of the club. He hid inside the kitchen of a nearby 7-eleven until police and paramedics showed up. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, and was at the emergency room from 3 a.m. until 8 a.m.
Today, the gunshot wound on his side is purple and swollen, and he has nerve damage from the bullet fragment. He cut his elbow open from glass on the floor of the nightclub and got six stitches. Perez doesn’t know how much bills coming from specialists, x-rays or other tests may cost him. But his bill from Orlando Regional Medical Center’s emergency department: $20,000.
"$20,000," Perez said. "That's the quote, that's what they told me."
Perez has no health insurance. He’s working for a temp agency right now and doesn’t have the money to be seen by a doctor for follow up care in Miami. So he drove back to Orlando to get care at Camping World Stadium.
"They gave me gift cards...
...What’s not included in that $385 million? The cost of mental health counseling for people who were in the club but not physically shot – and friends and family of those there. And then there’s the cost of fear: People being afraid to go out to a dance club, or maybe skipping a visit to the theme parks.
For Mario Perez, the Pulse shooting victim, he’s worried he’s going to lose his job. He’s anxious knowing millions of dollars have been raised to help victims, but his bills are arriving now. He started his own GoFundMe campaign to cover the expenses, but it's only raised $260.
"As long as it gets covered, I’m gonna be fine," Perez said. "If they don’t cover it, I'm stuck in a hole. I don’t know what I’m gonna be able to do if they don’t assist me.”