"I couldn't be more thankful for all the love and support I've received," says survivor Angelique Caro

Credit: Angelique Caro

Angelique Caro and her three friends were getting ready to close out their tab at the Pulse nightclub last Saturday in Orlando when she first heard the gunshots.

“We were having a good time like we normally do,” Angelique, 28, a customer service agent at Southwest Airlines in Orlando who frequents Pulse, tells PEOPLE. “But then we heard the shots and everything started to get chaotic.”

Angelique was initially confused about what she was hearing. But when the second round went off, she and her friends dropped to the floor.

“Then there were about thirty seconds when we didn’t hear anything, so that s when made a run for the door,” she says. “As I was running I got hit from behind – once in my right arm and in my lung.”

The moments after she was shot were a blur.

“I just remember getting hit, falling and I couldn’t move,” says Angelique, who is still in a lot of pain. “I fell right outside the door. Someone picked me up and moved me over. I was in the ambulance and I told the EMT ‘Please, someone stay with me.’ ”

At the hospital, separated from her friends, she was given a chest tube because of the wound to her lung. She currently only has the use of one arm.

She had lost her cellphone and ID at the club, so she had to borrow a nurse’s phone to phone her parents.

“They didn t know if I was alive,” says Angelique, who soon after found out her friends also survived. “I’m so thankful that I’m still here. Now I’m just taking it day by day. I don’t think what’s happened has really hit me yet.”

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Parents Get Phone Call ‘You Never Want to Get’

At four in the morning, her father, William Caro, got the phone call “you never want to get,” he tells PEOPLE.

“We ran out, got caught on the road and were crying and screaming,” says William. “We didn t know what was going on.”

He and his wife made the 45 minute drive from Kissimee, Florida, which he says “felt like a three day drive.”

When they got to the hospital, they still had no answers about their daughter’s fate.

“The hospital was on lock down so we couldn t get in,” says William, 55. “Everyone was crying and waiting. You saw ambulances coming in with people but you didn t know if it was your kid. It was horrific.”

But William says that while “it’s been a nightmare,” he’s very grateful to see his daughter pulling through.

“She’s a very strong girl,” he says. “I don’t know how she managed to survive. She s always been determined to do what she needs to do. She’s a champ.”

Angelique, who survived the shooting that killed at least 49 people, will be released in the coming days but still has a long road to a full recovery.

“It’ll be about three or four months,” William says. “Her lung collapsed, but a day after she was shot she was trying to walk. She’s a trooper.”

A friend has also created a GoFundMe page to help her with expenses.

Angelique is amazed by the support she has received.

“It s beautiful. My friends and family have been by my side but people from around the world have also been so supportive,” she says. “It was very scary but I’m alive. I’m blessed.”