SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas--It was a phone call that almost shattered Carol Horton. Her mother, 73-year-old Farida Brown had been shot four times in the leg during a mass shooting at First Baptist Church.
"It took me about four hours to get up there from Alvin and my mom was in surgery. The whole time I was just praying that my mother would survive," Horton said.
"She's lively and energetic and I was worried she'd never walk again."
Turn out, her mother did survive. But the news was a whirlwind of emotions for Horton, as she learned that 26 of her friends and members of her congregation had been killed.
"I had no idea when I left what I was walking into. I didn't know that I was going right into this mass shooting. It was bittersweet for me because right after I got to the hospital, my nana called me to tell me that Crystal, her unborn child and three of her kids had been killed," Horton said.
"It's hard to program yourself to say who do you know, who's alive, who's not alive, who's in it. And trying to figure out who survived."
Horton believes she herself may have escaped death that weekend.
She's been going to First Baptist for nearly a decade. The sacred place that provided her with strength and courage as she mourned the deaths of her husband and her father in the same year had now become the same place where she'd lost her second family.
"The same church that helped us emotionally through so much hardship, I'm going through the same hardship with them. Now I'm turning around and helping them in any way that I can. So it's come full circle," Horton said.
Nearly two weeks later, Horton's still coping with the tragic reality of what happened. But she's learned the hard way, that moving forward is the only way things can get better.
"You have to open your eyes and realize that you have children and you have family that need you. It's a horrific incident and I don't know how you overcome it but I know we will," Horton said.