Orange County

‘It still hits you’: Trauma surgeon reflects on Pulse massacre 5 years later

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dr. Joseph Ibraham became a household name five years ago.

He was one of the first to come in after shots were fired inside Pulse nightclub.

It’s not unusual for a trauma surgeon to get called out of bed in the middle of the night, and they know it usually means they will be back home in a few hours.

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But he thinks about that night often.

“We had all the bays full, we had people perpendicular at that time and more coming in,” Ibraham said. “(I’m) just thinking. ‘OK, where do I start.’”

And as Orlando move on, those on the front lines relived it over and over again.

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Five years later, they remember more than they probably want.

“It still hits you,” Ibraham said.

But counseling has helped him and others through it, but an event like that never really leaves you.

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He said the doctors suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the sound of a helicopter is haunting.

He said he is much better now, and uses his coping skills to help others.

This weekend will mark the first time since the massacre that Ibraham will be in town.

READ: Orlando to remember lives lost 5 years after Pulse nightclub shooting

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.