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Sharing the horror of being shot, to raise awareness, hospitals unite against violence

Posted at 2:54 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 17:54:04-04

"It felt like a pinch.. Some people say it burns," De'Carlo Cornish is a 25-year-old man born in Annapolis and raised in Anne Arundel County. He never thought he'd get shot on his way to his grandfather's house.

It was October 8, 2016. Cornish was delivering a box of his t-shirts to his grandfather, "I usually go around the community handing out shirts for my clothing line."

The line funds his community projects, a yearly toy drive and other events that keep Baltimore kids busy away from drugs and crime.

That October morning a stranger walked up to him, pointed a gun at him and told him to lay down. Cornish said the man was trying to rob him and instead of laying down, ran away.

That's when he felt the pinch, three times, in his back.

"I ran to like four or five houses before somebody answered, luckily it was a childhood friend of mine, mother, she helped me out," Cornish said everything went black.

Next thing he knew, he was at University of Maryland Shock Trauma, in a hospital bed. His spleen removed, along with half of his kidney, then came the memory flooding back, replaying the shooting.

At his bedside, a Shock Trauma case worker, there to listen and help him cope.

"When I'm thinking of something wrong I'll call him up and talk to him and he'll guide me through like that's not the way to go about it, come to group and we'll talk and laugh," Cornish said.

He was discharged about a month later, October 26th, and still keeps in contact with his case worker. Shock Trauma started the practice more than 20 years ago, giving victims of violence tools to keep them from coming back to the hospital injured.

Today hospitals like Shock Trauma remind the community of the horrors victims face, trying to keep more from happening.

 "I look at it like it's blessings because I'm still here. the scars not going away, there always going to be here. That's always going to remind me what I went through," Cornish said.

A pain he'll live with for the rest of his life.

Eighteen percent of the victims at Shock Trauma in 2015 were victims of violence, meaning a stabbing, assault or shooting. That rose in 2016 to 21%. Officials like Tara Reed Carlson, Business Development Manager at Shock Trauma, urged this is why Hospitals Against Violence Day is more important now than ever.