Officials announced on Wednesday that Orlando Health and Florida Hospital will not bill the survivors for out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred following a terrorist attack at an Orlando night club.
The hospital plans to write off the $5.5 million in services and medical treatment.
“The pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community,” Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong said. “During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward.”
The Orlando Regional Medical Center treated 44 of the 50+ victims who needed treatment after the June 12 attack. Nine of the pulse victims died shortly after arriving at the hospital and their families will not be charged.
At Orlando Health, the hospital will absorb the cost of whatever services were not covered by insurance.
Florida Hospital said it will not even bill the victims for follow-up treatments and surgeries.
“It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” said Daryl Tol, Florida Hospital’s president and CEO. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.”
The survivors of the attack were pleased to hear the news.
“I was so worried because I can’t afford any of that,” said Mario Lopez, 34, who was visiting from Miami when he went to the club after a friend’s housewarming party. “I just went out for a fun night with friends. No one expected this to happen. My life was turned upside down, and then I had to worry about how I was going to pay back the hospital.”
Lopez is uninsured. He was grazed by a bullet and had fragments explode inside his body. He also fell and cut his elbow on shards of glass. His bill: in the neighborhood of $20,000.