Family of theater shooting victim sheds light on how to help after Orlando shooting
Many of the Orlando shooting victims are facing a long recovery. It's a similar struggle to the one faced by survivors of the Aurora theater shooting; one they continue to go through nearly four years after that tragedy.
Caleb Medley is the standup comedian who was severely injured in the 2012 shooting. His family said it was the outpouring support of not just their community, but the country that continues to let them heal. They hope the Orlando victims will get the same help.
Sometimes, the struggle to move past a senseless crime takes more than just time. It takes the will to move on.
"I look at my son and I still get angry at the guy who shot him. The main thing is, just don't stay there. Just don't dwell there," Caleb's father Otis Medley said.
Caleb lost his right eye and has brain damage from the Aurora theater shooting. His family spent weeks in the hospital caring for him. But there was a cost for taking that much time off work.
"I lost my job, essentially," Otis said.
Caleb's wife, Katie, was nine months pregnant at the time and said the only way her family could get by was through financial donations.
"We had to put gas in our cars and we had to buy food and stuff like that. It's the little things that people kind of don't think of. It's not just about medical bills, it was about living day to day. People still have mortgages and electric bills and things like that that they still have to pay even though something horrible has happened to them," she said.
It's a struggle the latest mass shooting victims will go through too.
Katie said it wasn't just money but things as simple as letters and cards that made things easier.
"That was something that really helped me through everything. I used to read the letters to Caleb when he was in a coma," she said. "Letting him know that there are others out there thinking of him from everywhere."
"One card was from England. I don't remember what they wrote but I was flabbergasted that somebody from London would write to us," Otis said.
Caleb's father does not know any of the victims' families in Florida but knows that grief all too well.
"There's a connection in terms of that we're a unique club," he said.
The donations made to the Medleys continue to help pay medical bills. Caleb is currently at a rehabilitation facility thanks to the donated funds.