Man breaks down giving eulogy for mum who saved him in Orlando shooting

She did what most mothers would have done when her child was in danger - she stood in front of him and shielded him from bullets.

But that act is more poignant because of it - it reminds us that a mother's love knows no bounds.

Ms Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, was at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12. She was one of 49 people killed in the mass shooting early that morning - the deadliest terror attack in the United States since Sept 11, 2001.

That morning, 29-year-old Omar Mateen ran amok in the gay nightclub with a legally bought assault rifle. Another 53 people were wounded.

Ms McCool, a mother of 11 and two-time cancer survivor, was at the club with her son Isaiah Henderson, 21.

Her nephew, actor Wilson Cruz, told Huffington Post that she went there frequently with Mr Henderson, who is openly gay. "She went there to be with her son so that he could be exactly who he is, without any fear," he said.

And she loved to dance. She had posted a video of her salsa-ing just hours before the shooting to Facebook.

When Ms McCool saw the gunman point the gun at her direction, she told her son to "get down" and put herself in front of him, her sister-in-law told the New York Daily News.

Mr Henderson survived the shooting. Ms McCool did not. She was shot at least twice.

At her funeral service on Monday (June 20), Mr Henderson broke down while delivering an eulogy for his mother.

"I never thought that her life would be ended right in front of my eyes...

"Everybody who knew my mom knew she was the mom everybody wanted," he said.

After the funeral service, 49 balloons were released in memory of the victims.

sinsh@sph.com.sg