Children who survive shootings face significant health challenges and financial burdens, according to a recent CNN report. The article highlights the story of Oronde McClain, who was shot in the head at age 10 and has since dealt with paralysis, seizures, and PTSD. The broader issue is the ongoing medical needs of young gun violence survivors, which are often extensive and costly.
Healthcare Hurdles and Financial Strain
- Child and adolescent shooting survivors are more likely to suffer from pain disorders, psychiatric diagnoses, and substance use disorders.
- Firearm injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 19.
- Survivors add an average of $35,000 to healthcare costs compared to non-injured peers.
- Parents and siblings of survivors also experience increased psychiatric disorders and make fewer visits for their own medical care.
A System Overwhelmed
The article underscores the strain on healthcare systems and families, noting that survivors often require ongoing care from a range of specialists. This can be particularly challenging for those in rural areas or without access to reliable transportation. Moreover, the psychological impact of such trauma is profound and may be underreported due to stigma or fear of punishment.
Finding Purpose Amid Trauma
Despite the hardships, some survivors, like McClain, find purpose in advocacy and support for others affected by gun violence. McClain’s work includes a documentary and efforts to improve news coverage of gun violence.
The CNN report sheds light on the often-overlooked long-term consequences of gun violence on children. It calls attention to the need for comprehensive support for survivors and their families, both medically and in coping with the financial aftermath.