Anthony Borges, the teenager who was shot five times while protecting his classmates during the Parkland shooting last year, will be honored Wednesday night by his beloved soccer club Barcelona.
Borges was the last patient to be released from hospital after the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The then 15-year-old was shot five times while shielding his peers from the gunman. He had barricaded a door with his body and was shot through the door. Seventeen people were killed.
A huge soccer fan, Borges played for Barca Academy in Lauderhill, Florida, in 2016 – a soccer academy based on the model of Spanish giant Barcelona. He gave an interview from his hospital bed wearing a Barcelona shirt, and some of the team noticed.
Then, journalist Santiago Segurola got in touch with Borges’ family and the club looked into how it could help.
The club kept tabs on his recovery and former vice president Manel Arroyo visited Borges at his home in Florida to check on his progress. It was there that he invited Borges to the club’s home Camp Nou stadium once he felt able to attend.
Borges and his family will attend Barcelona’s Champions League match against France’s Lyon Wednesday before meeting the players at a training session the following day.
Barcelona said he will receive a signed shirt from the squad, “in honor of his bravery after putting his life on the line to save his classmates.”
In a statement, the club added: “As a result of injuries, the youngster’s life was in the balance but after many months of medical care in hospital he recovered and now his health is much improved.
“In light of this, FC Barcelona have helped him make the trip to Barcelona to make his dream of seeing Barca play in the flesh come true.”
Barcelona will hope to progress to the quarterfinal of the Champions League after the first leg of the last-16 clash finished goalless.