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Club Q survivor, Ed Sanders, shares story of recovery and resiliency

Club Q survivor, Ed Sanders, shares story of recovery and resiliency
Posted at 6:44 PM, Dec 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-10 06:31:34-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — A survivor of the Club Q shooting, who was released from the hospital on Thursday, is sharing his story with News5.

Ed Sanders, 63 years old, spent his first night at home nearly three weeks after the shooting at Club Q. He said the first three nights in the hospital, he couldn’t sleep because of adrenaline and anger, but he says, Thursday night was the best sleep he’s had since that horrific night.

“I just got home yesterday, so I’m doing as well as to be expected,” said Sanders, whose live changed forever on November 19. “We lost people, and I’ve got life long scars now.”

He had taken photos of him and his friends in Denver, just hours before the shooting. Sanders was wearing a red suit, that ended up getting cut off his body a few hours later because of his injuries.

“We were up in Denver for Snowball that night, and we didn't want the party to end, so I had my friend drop me off at Club Q.”

Sanders has been a regular at Club Q since 20-10. That night, he said he was in standing in line for a drink when he heard shots fired.

“I could see the flash of the bullets. I got shot in the back at first, and I was surprised, and I turned around to look at him and then he shot another volley and got my leg, and then I went down,” said Sanders.

He never lost hope of surviving that night, all while helping others around him. He said a woman next to him had also been shot and was seriously injured.

“I was thinking about trying to help the lady next to me mostly. I was surprised and shocked, and iI didn't think I was going to die or anything, but I had always imagined what I’d do in a situation like that,” said Sanders.

Sanders has undergone four surgeries for his injuries since that night. He was released from the hospital 19 days after the tragedy. As he continues to heal, his cat named “Lucky” will be by his side.

“You need a positive attitude, and you need the strength to get going, and to keep moving on,” said Sanders. “I think support is helping me the most to cope, knowing that people care, their kindness and love, it really erases a lot of the trauma.”

He said this won't stop the LGBTQ community from being true to who they are, and on his road to recovery, he will not live in fear.

“I just want people to know this attack won't stand, and it's not going to stop us from being ourselves,” said Sanders. “We’re on the road to healing, we’re going to be strong, and we're going to be the first one to go back to Club Q when it re-opens.”

Right now, Sanders is happy to be home, and moving forward, he's excited to spend more time with Lucky, and having friends visit him.

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