We all remember the horrific Las Vegas shooting that took place on Oct. 1, 2017. The lives of so many people were changed forever on that tragic night.
A total of 58 people were killed, and over 500 were injured in the massacre. One of those people was Jovanna Calzadillas, an Arizona mother of two who was at the concert at Mandalay Bay Resort when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowds. When Calzadillas was shot in the head, the bullet actually penetrated her brain, leading doctors to believe that she wouldn’t survive.
Despite the odds being stacked against her, Calzadillas has proven doctors wrong. The 30-year-old survived the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and lives to tell the story of that harrowing night.
Here’s an inspiring video of Calzadillas talking about her road to recovery at a recent press conference:
“On October 1, a part of me changed that night. Even though I will not be the same old Jovanna, I will come back stronger,” Calzadillas said at the news conference at the Barrow Neurological Institute. “We will not let people like him win. We will not live in fear.”
The initial prognosis that Dr. Lindley Bliss gave Calzadillas wasn’t hopeful. At one point, Calzadillas was unable to breathe on her own, and doctors recommended taking her off life support.
Although the doctors doubted that she would recover, Calzadillas’ husband, Frank, who is a police officer, had a dream that his wife was going to make it.
“She hugged me and kissed me and she said, ‘Everything is going to be OK,’ and she walked away,” her husband, a police officer, told People of his dream. “And I called her mom and said, ‘We’re keeping Jovanna alive. She’s going to be alright.’”
That fateful dream has fortunately come true for this brave family. It’s been four months since the shooting and, finally, Calzadillas is back home. She is currently in outpatient therapy learning how to walk again and improving her speech. She says her children are her inspiration to keep pushing herself to get better.
“I will not quit on them and I will not quit on myself,” she said. “I feel strong and positive, plus I get to boss my husband around.”
We wish Calzadillas and her family strength as she continues to recover.