Link: Rep. Giffords’ 20 y.o. intern may have saved her life. #rsrh
Daniel Hernandez, intern, stays by Gabrielle Giffords’ side
Daniel Hernandez stays behind with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she is carried from the scene of the shooting on Saturday at a mall near Tucson. The intern’s quick thinking may have saved Giffords’ life.
Daniel Hernandez had been U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ intern for five days when she was shot Saturday outside Tucson.
The junior at the University of Arizona was helping check people in at the “Congress on Your Corner” event when he heard gunfire. He was about 30 feet from the congresswoman. When the shots began, he ran toward them.
When the shots began that morning, he saw many people lying on the ground, including a young girl. Some were bleeding. Hernandez said he moved from person to person checking pulses.
“First the neck, then the wrist,” he said. One man was already dead. Then he saw Giffords. She had fallen and was lying contorted on the sidewalk. She was bleeding.
Using his hand, Hernandez applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. He pulled her into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn’t choke on her own blood. Giffords was conscious, but quiet.
He stayed with Giffords until paramedics arrived. They strapped her to a board and loaded her into an ambulance. Hernandez climbed in with her. On the ride to the hospital, he held her hand. She squeezed his back.
Eight hours after the shooting, Hernandez stood with Giffords’ friends and staff and told them what had happened. The tall, strong 20-year-old said, “Of course you’re afraid, you just kind of have to do what you can.”
“You just have to be calm and collected,” he said. “You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown… . It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help.”