One of the most heartbreaking stories to come out of the Orlando attacks at the Pulse Night Club is the story of 49-year-old Brenda Lee Marquez McCool. She was swank, loved salsa dancing and was extremely supportive of her 21-year old son, Isaiah Henderson.
In fact, she loved him so much – she went with Isaiah and his friends to Latin night at Pulse to have some fun and demonstrate her unequivocal support.
But then the sound of gunshots rang out …
As the shooter rapidly fired towards the crowds and club patrons began to fall, Brenda’s maternal instincts quickly kicked in.
Here is a direct quote from her sister-in-law, Ada Pressley with the New York Daily News:
“Brenda saw him point the gun. She said, ‘Get down,’ to Isaiah and she got in front of him,” Pressley then added. “She was a brave woman. All day and night we hoped she would be in the hospital.”
The family would not find out until Monday that tragically, Brenda didn’t survive.
“She was shot dead,” Pressley explains. “That’s how much she loved her kids. If it weren’t for her, he’d of been shot.”
Just a few hours before, Brenda had uploaded a video of herself to Facebook at the club, dancing and having a good time.
Isaiah shared on Facebook that because of his mother’s bravery, he is alive.
“Just laying here thinking that I was just with my mom 24 hours ago, this is so surreal I love you mom.”
The interview given by Pressley tells how very supportive she was of her son.
“Every year she comes to New York to celebrate the Puerto Rican Day Parade,” she said. “But this year she went to Pulse to celebrate. If she’d come to New York, she’d be alive.”
Another one of Brenda’s sons, Farrell Marshall, set up a GoFundMe page to help cover his mother’s funeral costs. So far, nearly $28,000 has been raised.
Wrote Farrell on the website: “One Decision changed the lives of many. All I ask is for prayers and whatever you can to help me and brothers sisters to be able to pick up the pieces where she left off. You will forever be in our hearts. Always. I truly love you so much MOM!”
Brenda McCool was truly a hero and the kind of mom most of us could only have dreamed of. She will be missed.