The Colombia Bombing: Pilar Molano and Her Miraculous Story of Survival
The personal stories of victims are often lost in the chaos of the deadly incidents that breed them. Moreover, it is easy to lose sight of a human being when the public is only ever shown body counts; sadly, just cold numbers and figures for many. For one Colombian family, they are resting easy and able to share the miraculous experience of one of their own.
Relatives of Pilar Molano, a 42-year-old mother badly injured from the bombing attack in Bogota, Colombia's Andino shopping center, were relieved when doctors assured them that she was alive and on track to recovering from a serious leg injury sustained during the incident. A message sent to Pilar's mother on WhatsApp revealed a grisly image of her daughter's right leg practically detached from the rest of her body.
Arriving at the nearest emergency room, Pilar's doctors worked tirelessly to remove the dust and shrapnel from the infected area. Although tissue damage was extensive and the nerves and muscles were severely compromised, Pilar's surgery had gone well and the blood had begun to circulate throughout her leg.
As the family prayed and consoled one another at the hospital, the Mayor of Bogota, Enrique Peñalosa, could be heard from a nearby radio referring to the use of a homemade bomb in one of the city's busiest districts as a "cowardly terrorist bombing." The mayor's statement has drawn an intense spotlight on the only rebel movement actively planning and carrying out attacks in the country; the National Liberation Army (ELN).
1.@ELN_Paz repudia ataque en Centro Comercial Andino contra civiles. Compartimos el dolor y nos solidarizamos con las víctimas. (sigue)
— ELN-PAZ (@ELN_Paz) June 18, 2017
2. @ELN_Paz pide seriedad a quienes hacen acusaciones infundadas y temerarias; hay quienes pretenden así hacer trizas los procesos de Paz — ELN-PAZ (@ELN_Paz) June 18, 2017
Firmly rejecting claims of their involvement in the attack, ELN representatives tweeted their condolences to the lives lost, while, at the same time, repudiating the act. In his zeal to catch the perpetrators and combat political extremism, President Juan Manuel Santos affirmed that the attack would not disrupt peace talks with the ELN or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Sharing words of comfort with the family, Pilar's sister, Francy, said "God has made many miracles today. Leg or no leg, we should be thankful that [Pilar] is alive and that her surgery was a success." Yet, she also expressed frustrations stemming from the absence of President Santos and Mayor Peñalosa. "Why is Santos not here?" wondered Francy. "Why is Peñalosa not here asking for the victims?"
Politics aside, the family is thrilled at the chance to see their Pilar again and hope to bring her home soon.