ROANOKE, Va. – He survived gunshots during the Virginia Tech shooting rampage. Now, the same bullets that didn't take his life in 2007 are negatively affecting his health.
Colin Goddard was in French class when he was shot four times. Instead of feeling a sense of recovery, he learned that he's being slowly poisoned by toxic lead bullets and fragments that remain in his body, according to NBC 4.
"I survived the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, and now I'm having to survive it again in 2019, in a whole other way," Goddard told NBC 4.
Some bullets shattered into pieces when Goddard was shot, and doctors deemed them too risky to remove.
"The rest of the pieces I was told were going to be with me forever and it wouldn't be a problem," Goddard told NBC 4.
However, the fragments that doctors once deemed innocuous are now slowly poisoning him. The levels of toxic lead in his system at one point were seven times higher than what is considered safe.
Goddard is warning other gun violence survivors about this frightening long-term health threat -- one that may not show symptoms for years after a shooting.
"I want to sound the alarm for all the other survivors out there who don't know about this, who are just like me who were sent from the hospital and told, 'You're fine. Have a great rest of your life,'" Goddard said. "What's been driving me forward to do something is to stop the long-term impacts from happening, which are kidney failure, cognitive decline. A bunch of really intense things, because once they happen there's no undoing that."