Update 1:21 p.m. Feb. 15, 2018: Meadow Pollack, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who went missing after Wednesday’s shooting, has died, her father, Andrew Pollack, said Thursday morning.
Original report: Andrew Pollack stood outside the hospital Wednesday afternoon with a firm grip on his cellphone, anxiously waiting to hear the words “we found her.”
Pollack and his wife were searching for their daughter Meadow, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. They called her phone so many times Wednesday only to hear it ring and ring and ring.
“We can’t locate her. I keep looking at my phone,” Pollack said outside Broward Health North hospital. “I don’t know where to go from here.”
Pollack rattled off details about his 18-year-old — she plans to go to Lynn University for college. He showed a Palm Beach Post reporter a photo of her wearing a dark, strapless dress and a smile while standing next to her cousin.
As of 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, he still hadn’t heard.
About a couple hundred feet from where Pollack stood, two doctors gave an update to reporters on the nine patients brought to the hospital after a gunman opened fire at the high school. The doctors said Wednesday marked the biggest mass casualty incident the hospital has seen.
One of the hospitals’ nine patients was suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19. The doctors — Evan Boyar and Igor Nichiporenko — said he was released to police custody and did not detail his injuries. They said authorities took him to Broward North because it was the closest trauma facility.
“Every patient that comes in gets treated as a patient,” said Boyar, director of the emergency medicine department.
Another shooting victim was taken to Broward Health Coral Springs and seven others were taken to Broward Health Medical Center. Doctors at Broward North couldn’t give updates on those patients’ conditions.
Of the eight at Broward North, two died, three were in stable condition and three were in critical, the doctors said. At the time of the news conference, three were in operating rooms.
Nichiporenko said none of the six at Broward North were expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday evening, but gave a positive outlook on their conditions: “They’re going to have successful surgeries. They’re going to recover. They’re going to go home.”
The doctors declined to give details about the patients, including their names, ages or exact injuries, but said they all received gunshot wounds.
“I prefer not to comment on specific patients’ demeanor, but you know as a human being you can imagine that they would be in shock or you know be emotional about the whole situation,” Boyar said.
The doctors said they send their sympathy and condolences to all involved in the shooting. They said the hospital was ready for a day like this and often runs drills to make sure if a day like this does come the patients receive “calm, collected care.”
“We do this every day. So what we saw today, we have penetrating trauma, non-penetrating trauma. We’re a Level 2 trauma center and that’s what we do everyday,” said Nichiporenko, the trauma medical director. “So fortunately for everybody we are located very close to the high school where the shooting happened, so fortunately for everybody they brought these patients to our hospital and we were able to do a great job to do the right thing.”
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