Anna Sheffer
February 19, 2018 9:36 am
@browardsheriff /

The community of Parkland, Florida was devastated on February 14th when a gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, claiming the lives of 17 people and wounding 23 others. And the family of one of the victims, Anthony Borges, has had to set up a GoFundMe account to pay for his medical care.

Borges, a 15-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, reportedly shielded 20 of his classmates from the gunfire. He was shot five times in the legs and back as he tried to close the door to a classroom.

Borges is currently recovering in Broward Health North Hospital. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel visited Borges in the hospital on February 18th. A tweet from the sheriff’s office wrote that Israel was “honored” to meet Borges, and that the student is “recovering, but has a long road ahead.”

According to local newspaper the Sun-Sentinel, as of February 18th, four of the shooting victims remained in the hospital. Borges was the last shooting victim in critical condition, and now all victims are listed in “fair” condition.

But despite Borges’s heroic actions, his family has still struggled to fund his medical procedures. With several surgeries remaining in Borges’s recovery, a family friend set up a GoFundMe page to help to help with the high cost of his health care. Although the original page had a goal of $5,000 in donations, as of February 19th, more than $100,000 had been raised to help the Borges family with their medical expenses.

Given the terrible circumstances surrounding Borges’s injuries, it’s astonishing that his family has had to rely on a public fundraiser to cover the costs of his health care. Medical care should be a right, not a privilege, especially when gun violence continues to threaten our country. The Parkland shooting was an unspeakable tragedy, and our hearts go out to the families of the 17 victims. We wish Borges and all those injured in the Parkland shooting a swift recovery.