A Filipino nursing student in Canada spoke with the National Post on the first anniversary of the Danforth shooting. The 2018 mass shooting saw thirteen people injured and three killed, including the gunman, 29-year-old Faisal Hussain.
REMEMBERING WHAT HAPPENED
Danielle Kane was with her boyfriend Jerry Pinksen in Toronto’s Greektown on a lovely summer evening when the shooting occurred. They were out enjoying the patio weather with friends when the shooting started.
Shortly after shots rang out, servers at the restaurant urged people to go inside.
Both Kane and Pinksen had experience working in emergency room environments together. Kane followed Pinksen, who had gone outside to help people who had been shot and were lying on the sidewalk.
RUNNING TOWARDS DANGER
As soon as they left the restaurant, Kane saw Hussain not far away. A few moments later, Hussain had shot her.
Shortly after Kane collapsed to the ground, Pinksen picked her up and brought her back inside to the restaurant. She was brought to the hospital and put in a medically induced coma for eleven days.
The bullet that had hit Kane shattered her vertebrae, causing massive spinal cord injury. She was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Kane spent two months at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, where she learned new skills to help her live her new life.
CHOOSING NOT TO BE A VICTIM
A GoFundMe campaign organized by friends helped raise over $200,000, the couple will be moving to Oshawa, Ontario so that Kane can be closer to her school.
Despite her life-changing injuries, Kane is still able to muster the strength to laugh, “I feel with all the suffering I’ve had, I have a great capacity for joy.”
She also expresses sympathy for the shooter, saying that she forgives him, “I definitely have moments where he’s not my favourite person, but I see him as a human being who struggled and didn’t get help. I can only imagine how awful his life must have been to be so isolated and tortured by violent thoughts.”
Kane says she’s taken her life back, “I’m choosing not to be a victim.”
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