Do you wonder what it feels like to be shot by an assault rifle? Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt. It feels like an electric jolt. The real pain comes much later. When the gunfire erupted at the Route 91 Music Festival on October 1, 2018, it sounded like fireworks. The sheer terror set in minutes later, as those around us began to be hit. We ran for our lives. As my friend and I clutched each other and a stranger, a bullet tore through the back of my arm and exited through the bicep. In the chaos, I was separated from my husband and friends. I kept repeating this mantra, “I have three kids. I’m not dying today.” With the help of complete strangers, I made it to the hospital.
I’ve had four surgeries to repair the blast injury to my upper arm. My arm has nerve damage and is filled with shrapnel, bone fragments, metal plates and rods, and so many scars. I suffer from PTSD. For the last year, my days have been filled with endless doctors’ appointments, physical and occupation therapies, and psychotherapy. My arm will never be the same, nor will I.
I am one of the lucky ones. Fifty-eight angels gained their wings that night. Over 850 others were wounded. Every time there is another mass shooting, my heart breaks all over again. Please, let’s work together, so nobody has to endure this pain and terror again.