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The Man Behind The Blood-Stained Shoes: Dr. Joshua Corsa Sits Down With WMFE

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Front - Nicholas Sakis, MD; Joshua Corsa, MD; Shalina Golla, MD; Aura Fuentes, MD. Back - Brittany Warren, MD and surgical ICU Director, Chadwick Smith, MD

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Dr. Joshua Corsa was at Orlando Regional Medical Center when he got the first alert that a shooting had happened: A page that read TRAUMA NOW.

The senior resident at the department of surgery for Orlando Regional Medical Center worked Sunday into Monday at the trauma hospital that got 44 of the victims from the Pulse night club shooting. He tried to get some sleep, unsuccessfully, and when he came back into the work the next day, a tangible reminder of the tragedy lay in his office.

His brand new tennis shoes, stained in blood. In that moment, the gravity of what happened sank in. He took a photo of the shoes, and posted it to Facebook.

“There is still an enormous amount of work to be done,” Corsa wrote, in a post that went viral. “Some of that work will never end. And while I work I will continue to wear these shoes. And when the last patient leaves our hospital, I will take them off, and I will keep them in my office. I want to see them in front of me every time I go to work. For on June 12, after the worst of humanity reared its evil head, I saw the best of humanity come fighting right back.”

Corsa sat down with 90.7 Health Reporter Abe Aboraya. Excerpts from that interview are below, and the audio is attached to this post. Full disclosure: Corsa is the chair of WMFE’s Community Advisory Board.

ABE: You just came from surgery and there are many more patients still recovering. What’s next for patients?

CORSA: Yesterday was hopefully the last big day when the operating rooms were packed. Yesterday was a good day, we made a difference in a lot of people. Some of them we finally got the bleeding control, where it’s less damage control and the more of starting to think long-term down the road, that they are going to be OK.

ABE: You had written in that post that you weren’t gonna take the shoes off. Are you still wearing them now

CORSA: I do. Because there’s blood on them, I’m wearing shoe covers all the time now, but true to my word, I’m gonna keep them on until the last person leaves.

ABE: And after that?

CORSA: It’s gonna take a while to process things. I don’t know if I’m gonna put them anywhere for a while, but eventually I think it’s a good reminder. Not of the terrible things that happened. But of the good that came from it, how the city came together, how the hospital came together. These patients are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. And I think it’s good to have a tangible reminder to look at every day to remind yourself that there’s still good out there even in the face of this.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »