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Twenty years have passed since two gunmen stormed Columbine High School and carried out what became the first mass campus shootings in U.S. history.
And while sadly it wasn't the last, the journey of some of the survivors offers hope that although such incidents do represent a dark chapter in the students' lives, they do not come to define their entire stories.
DailyMail - Com - Decade - Journey - Students
Here, the DailyMail.com tells the two decade journey of some of the courageous students on April 20, 1999, who went from the depths of depression to finding happiness - and how they managed to do it.
Patrick Ireland, 27, a successful financial advisor
Nation - Patrick - Ireland - Columbine - High
The entire nation watched transfixed as 17-year-old Patrick Ireland desperately threw himself from a Columbine High School window into the arms of SWAT team officers Donn Kraemer and John Ramoniec.
Gunned down and left for dead, Ireland crawled on his stomach to a window and climbed out to safety, bringing a brief moment a light in an otherwise dark day.
Ireland - Side - Consciousness - Life - Day
Ireland was paralyzed down his right side, bleeding profusely and falling in and out of consciousness, but somehow found the will to not only survive but to piece his life back together after that dark day in April 1999.
Ireland said reaching the window was his only chance of survival and said he felt confident someone would be there waiting to catch him.
Library - Friend - Guns - Classmate - Makai
He was in the library with a friend when the guns started going off. When he tried to help his wounded classmate Makai Hall, he was blasted by Dylan Klebold from 15 feet away with a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun.
But for more than three hours, against all odds, Ireland dragged his body towards the window - until he felt the cool air and somehow hoisted himself outside.
Emergency - Services
Once emergency services had him he was rushed...
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