LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- In order for Neladya Fonte's team of doctors to treat the most shooting victims she's seen following the nightmare at Club Blu last Monday, they had to be ready. "It is second nature, you're almost not thinking about it. It becomes par for the course, kind of like breathing in and breathing out."
Her team of trauma surgeons made sure the 16 Club Blu patient's continued breathing and monitoring their blood flow as bloodied children continued flowing into Lee Memorial Hospital. Most families got word that their loved ones would be ok. Steffan Strawder's family learned that he wouldn't make it.
"I had to give them the tragic news that despite our efforts we were not able to save him," Fonte said.
While Steffan fought for his life, police fought to control crowds of over 200 people in the waiting area wanting to know if their loved ones survived. Nurses from ICU assisted with patients. Meanwhile, the wounded kids surprisingly kept their cool.
"I didn't hear a single kid crying, screaming, upset and I don't know if it was just the overall shock of the situation but they were mature beyond their age," Fonte said.
Their demeanor made it easier for doctors to focus on the patients injuries rather than their emotions. It's that focus driven from their mass shooting training that helps keep them prepared at all times.
"As a trauma center and as a trauma surgeon, you don't think 'I'm training for something that's never going to happen.' You're training for something that you know will happen at some point," said.