Laura Vargas walks, smiles and continues to heal one year after an enraged gunman unleashed terror inside the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. Getting to this point in Vargas’ life has been nothing short of a miracle.
“Physically, I'm almost 100 percent. I'd say I'm at about 80 percent, dealing with a few health issues still but emotionally it's still really hard," explained Vargas.
On June 12, 2016, Vargas was partying with her best friend Luis Vielma at Pulse when suddenly terror struck.
She recalls watching Omar Mateen reloading his gun before shooting her twice in the back. Vargas said she played dead for almost an hour until first responders came to her rescue. Sadly, her best friend Luis did not survive the gunfire.
"It weighs a lot. I lose sleep over it. It's almost to a point that I feel bad when I have fun or when I do really fun things because I know that he's missing out," explained Vargas.
The survivor's guilt is Vargas's biggest burden, but moving forward she believes one positive that came out of this tragedy is more LGBTQ tolerance.
"People are becoming a little nicer to one another. It's not constant hostility and judgment; there's just a little more love," Vargas said.
Vargas said she did not attend any remembrance ceremonies this weekend because she says it is still too difficult for her on an emotional level.