As you probably already know, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was tragically shot yesterday during an event in Tucson, Arizona. The U.S. Congresswoman remains in critical care, but it is all because of an intern, Daniel Hernandez Jr., that she is still alive.
Hernandez, a twenty-year-old University of Arizona junior served on the Tucson Commission on GLBT Issues, rode with Giffords to the hospital, squeezing her hand the whole way there.
After the initial shooting took place, 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.
Hernandez used his hand to apply pressure until someone from inside Safeway brought him clean smocks from the meat department. He used them to apply pressure on the entrance wound, unaware there was an exit wound. He never let go of her. 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.