Obama visits Fil-Am injured in Colorado shooting

Posted at 07/23/2012 2:46 PM | Updated as of 07/24/2012 12:48 AM
A boy lights a candle at a memorial for victims behind the theater where a gunman opened fire last Friday on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado July 22, 2012. / REUTERS

AURORA, Colorado - US President Barack Obama visited Ryan Lumba, the 17-year-old Filipino shot inside a theater in Colorado, in what is now dubbed the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

The Filipino community in Colorado remains in shock, as it tries to grapple with the tragedy that hit them last Friday.

"You'll never know what's going to happen so if you let it rule your life you will always be afraid, masisiraan ka ng ulo," Carmelito Santos, a resident, said.

But for a Filipino mother who almost lost her only son, waking up to every new day that he is alive is more than enough to symbolize that this too shall pass.

"Mahirap kasi kung iisipin mo yung masyadong long term. I just process what I can do for the day... Everyday  ganun na lang... Nag-i-improve si Ryan happy na ako dun," Remy Lumba, mother of Ryan, said.

Ryan remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Colorado Hospital. He underwent two surgeries to remove bullet shells in his stomach.

Remy Lumba could not forget the 3 a.m. call she received last Friday, telling her that her son was rushed to the hospital.

Ryan recently finished high school and is about to go to Western State College of Colorado, but that plan may be put on hold.

Remy is temporarily out of work because her husband was paralyzed and needs 24-hour care. Remy herself had undergone surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

But all these, according to Remy, are still not enough to kill her spirit.

"I don't know I just pray. Sabi ko this is coming again, but makakaraos din kami, yun ang iniisip ko. Things will be better," she said.

President Obama paid Ryan a visit, along with 10 others still recuperating in the hospital.

In despair, he said he found hope.

"I come to them not so much as a President as I do as a father and as a husband. And I think the reason stories like this have such an impact on us is because we can all understand what it would be to have somebody that we love taken from us in this fashion," Obama said.