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Tattoo Artists Donate Their Time & Talents To Pulse Shooting Survivors & First Responders

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Yvens Carrenard. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE.

Artists at Ascension Tattoo in Orlando donated their time and talents Sunday to create free tattoos for Pulse survivors and first responders.

Mark Longenecker worked on a tattoo for survivor Yvens Carrenard.  The tattoo was of a woman’s face, framed by a leopard head-dress, and wearing a pendant with the Pulse symbol.

“We went with like a warrior, kind of princess, kind of vibe,” said Longenecker.

Carrenard said the tattoo on his upper arm represents the strong women in his life.

“I’m a survivor, I was there that night. I was there with my best friend, and she’s very important to me, and through that situation I have a new best friend,” said Carrenard.

That new best friend is 911 dispatcher Jessica Brooks, who was on the phone with him as he was rescued.

Brooks reached out to Carrenard after the shooting, and through him she’s become friends with other survivors too.

“So it’s been very healing for me, and as well for them, from what I understand,” said Brooks.

“We’ve all connected, we push each other and we kind of get to see each other move forward and just try and live our best life despite the circumstances.”

Brooks also got a tattoo: an image of a butterfly and the words ‘look for the silver lining’.

She said the free tattoo event was “a really cool opportunity to get beautiful artwork with other people who experienced the same thing I experienced, maybe from a different perspective, but we all have experienced it one way or another and we’re transforming that pain into something beautiful.”

The tattoo event was organized by Healing Ink, an organization which uses tattoo art to help the victims of terrorism and violence.

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie