Pulse nightclub survivor from Polk "relieved" over hospital's decision not to bill the victims

Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 01:57:52-04

The procedures and operations that may have saved countless lives in the days that followed the Orlando shooting massacre, may not cost the victims a dime.

Both Orlando Health and Florida Hospital announced Wednesday night that it will not bill the victims for the services they have received.

Orlando Health, which treated the majority of the victims, said in a statement to ABC Action News that it will find other ways to absorb the more than five million in waived bills.

Jose Garcia of Davenport, who suffered minor injuries in the stampede to escape the club that night, said the gesture is overwhelming.

“There’s hate everywhere, but there’s so much love in Orlando,” he said.

Garcia never received a bill for his treatment, and he’s thankful his friends who suffered multiple gunshot wounds never will either.

One of his friends, Mario Perez, didn’t have insurance, and the thought of paying for the medical bills weighed heavily on him.

“He got hurt really bad…and a big concern was that hospital bill that was coming,” he said.

Victims and their families will still receive a portion of the more than 20 million dollars donated to the Orlando One Fund.

They will more than likely face other health care costs down the road, but hopefully now the bills aren’t stacking so high.

Garcia, for instance, has fully healed physically, but is now paying for mental health counseling because he’s suffering from PTSD.

“I think about it every day. Listening to the music, you expect to hear the gunshots,” he said.