JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – An ETSU Medical School alum has been one of many working to treat the victims of a mass shooting that happened early Sunday morning in Orlando, Fla.
Dr. Joseph Ibrahim has been treating critical patients in Orlando after the tragic shooting at Pulse night club.. Forty-nine people died and 27 people are still in the hospital after a gunman open fired in the packed nightclub.
Tuesday night we had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ibrahim over the phone.
Dr. Ibrahim said he was on backup call Sunday morning and knew when he got a phone call around 2:15am it was much more than just a busy night at the hospital.
He said once he was able to get to the hospital the first priority was evaluating patients, but described it as a chaotic scene.
He said it was unlike anything he has ever experienced.
“Nothing to this magnitude, nothing to this severity, nothing quite as emotionally draining as this one, when all this is going on you are so focused on the injuries and getting the patient the care they need that emotional aspect doesn’t really hit you until later on,” Dr. Ibrahim said.
Dr. Diane Cobble and Dr. Johnathan Winstead knew him when he was in medical school and during his residency in the Tri-Cities. They said they had no doubt he could handle the task at hand.
“Having Dr. Ibrahim there as one of the surgeons under their care they were well taken care of,” Cobble said.
Cobble met Ibrahim as a medical student and as a surgical resident.
Winstead, an ENT specialist at Franklin Woods Hospital, spent time with him in the classroom and said Ibrahim as a surgeon is someone who “is conscientious, able to make decisions quickly and very good at what he cared about — helping people who are in the midst of a traumatic situation,” Winstead said.
Winstead said Ibrahim grew up in the Tri-Cities and still loves it here and he’s glad he’s helping his new community in Orlando.
Ibrahim also spoke at a press conference this morning with five other surgeons detailing the extent of the injuries and described the initial scene as a “war zone”.
Many patients sustained injuries to the chest, abdomen and pelvis at an upward angle as if the shooter was below.
Six patients still remain critically ill and are being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
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