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Hero Intern Who Saved Giffords' Life Gives Exclusive Interview to ABC News

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"Just grab my hand."

ABC News:

In an exclusive interview with "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour, Daniel Hernandez, the intern described by some as the hero who assisted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords immediately after the Saturday's shooting, provided a first-hand account of the tragic attack in Tucson, Ariz.

"When I heard gunshots, my first instinct was to head toward the congresswoman to make sure that she was okay," Hernandez told Amanpour. "Once I saw that she was down, and there were more than one victim, I went ahead and started doing the limited triage that I could with what I had."

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"When this happened, I kind of just shut off all emotion because I knew I wouldn't be any good to anyone if I had a breakdown," Hernendez remembered. "I had to lift up the congresswoman because she was severely injured, and I wanted to make sure that she was able to breathe okay because there was so much blood."

Hernendez used smocks from the grocery store to bandage the wounded victims.

"The congresswoman was alert. She was able to hold my hand when I asked her if she could hear me," said Hernendez. "I wasn't able to get any words from her. She may have been trying, but because of the way that I was having to hold her it was a lot easier to just 'if you can hear me Gabby just grab my hand to let me know that you're okay.'"

The Arizona Republic:

Then he saw Giffords. She had fallen and was lying contorted on the sidewalk. She was bleeding.

Using his hand, Hernandez applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. He pulled her into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn't choke on her own blood. Giffords was conscious, but quiet.

Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, was next to her. Hernandez told a bystander how to apply pressure to one of Barber's wounds.

Barber told Hernandez, "Make sure you stay with Gabby. Make sure you help Gabby."

Hernandez used his hand to apply pressure until someone from inside Safeway brought him clean smocks from the meat department. He used them to apply pressure on the entrance wound, unaware there was an exit wound. He never let go of her.

He stayed with Giffords until paramedics arrived. They strapped her to a board and loaded her into an ambulance. Hernandez climbed in with her. On the ride to the hospital, he held her hand. She squeezed his back.

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