ORLANDO, Fla. - Yvens Carrenard and Jessica Brooks have a powerful connection: in June 2016, Carrenard was inside Orlando’s Pulse nightclub during the tragic shooting.
He hid in a bathroom and called 911. Brooks was on the other end of the line, and talked to him for 20 minutes until he was rescued by a SWAT team.
“She was the one that kept me calm and guided SWAT to come get me out the attic,” Carrenard told Fox 35 Orlando.
Now, two years later, they’ve become close friends, and they’ve both decided to get tattoos through a program called Healing Ink.
The program offers free tattoos for survivors, families and first responders, to cover their scars, both physical and emotional, with something beautiful. Brooks is getting a butterfly, a reminder of the silver linings of tragedy like the friendship she’s developed with Carrenard.
He’s getting a warrior, to remind him of the powerful female figures in his life like Brooks.
It’s a symbol of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tragedy, and of the healing power of friendship.