Parkland Survivor Still Can’t Talk About Last Year’s Shooting

The soft-spoken 15-year-old was shot five times last Valentine's Day.

parkland shooting
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim Anthony Borges is wheeled out of a press conference by his grandfather. (RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

Last year, 15-year-old Anthony Borges was fighting for his life in a Florida hospital after his school was brutalized by a gunman who killed 17 other students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school.

Thanks to Borges — who took five bullets for his peers — some 20 others were spared. His wounds were horrific, The Guardian reported. He had to use crutches until recently and is just now starting to walk again on his own.

“It was like being born [again] … being a baby. Having to learn to walk, to redo everything,” he said. “I don’t have words to describe how hard is [the] past. Every day was painful.”

But after spending two months in the hospital last year — more time than any other victim — undergoing 13 surgeries, and surviving nearly one year later, the teenager still doesn’t want to talk about that day.


“When I opened my eyes,” he said of the moment he first woke up in the hospital that saved his life, “the first thing I see is my leg open, and metal [from a brace] busted through it. It was crazy. [But] the most horrible things were the dreams. It was hell.”

Anthony’s father, Royer Borges, has gleaned a few details from that day in the year since the shooting.

His son was on the third floor of building 12 when the 17-year-old gunman entered, The Guardian reported. Anthony was shot first in the leg and dragged himself into a nearby classroom full of 20 other students where he kept the door shut by propping his back against it. The gunman then opened fire through the door, hitting Anthony a number of times in the back, before moving on.

The elder Borges recalled the moment he was buying flowers on that Valentine’s Day when his son called him.

“He called and tells me: ‘Dada, I am on the floor,” Borges said. “I have a bullet in my legs and others in my back.’”

He dropped everything and ran to the school, thinking his son was dead.

“I don’t know how he made it. There is no answer,” Royer said.

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