(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Nearly three weeks after the devastating shooting at Club Q, survivor Ed Sanders was released from the hospital to an exuberant send-off from medical teams at UCHealth Memorial Central.

Nurses, doctors and clinical teams who cared for Sanders during his stay at the hospital lined the halls on Thursday, Dec. 8 to cheer him on and give him a warm send-off to his future healing and recovery.

Hospital staff said Sanders has remained positive throughout his treatment and called him a “shining light during a dark time for the community,” said UCHealth in a press release.

Sanders was shot twice when a gunman opened fire at Club Q on Nov. 19, killing five and injuring 18 others. He suffered gunshot wounds to his back and leg, as he stood at the bar waiting to open a tab.

Sanders said he had been visiting Club Q since it opened in 2002, and mourned not only the lives lost, but also the safety and security of the LGBTQ+ community in the wake of the tragedy.

“This incident underlines the fact that LGBT people need to be loved,” said Sanders in an emotional interview on Nov. 22.

Sanders humbly thanked the staff on his send-off parade, and was seen smiling and waving as his wheelchair left the doors of the hospital.

“I’m so relieved and overjoyed,” Sanders said to gathered UCHealth staff outside the doors, before becoming emotional and accepting hugs from his care team.

Sanders told UCHealth that he is excited to go home and spend time with his cat, Lucky, and continue his healing journey from the comfort of his home.