Children who survive shootings endure huge health obstacles and costs

By Liz Szabo, KFF Health News, CNN | November 6, 2023

Emerging Leader Fellow Oronde McClain was featured in a CNN news story about the subsequent effects some gun shot survivors experience after they have been shot.

Oronde McClain was struck by a stray bullet on a Philadelphia street corner when he was 10.

The bullet shattered the back of his skull, splintering it into 36 pieces. McClain’s heart stopped, and he was technically dead for two minutes and 17 seconds.

Although a hospital team shocked him back to life, McClain never fully recovered. Doctors removed half his skull, replacing it with a gel plate, but shrapnel remains.

The shooting left him in a coma for seven weeks and in a wheelchair for nearly two years. School bullies magnified his pain, laughing at his speech and the helmet he wore to protect his brain. McClain said he repeatedly attempted suicide as a teenager. He remains partly paralyzed on his right side and endures seizures and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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