(LAS VEGAS) — An Arizona mother of two who was shot in the head during the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas is set to leave the hospital Thursday after suffering such a severe brain injury that doctors didn’t think she would survive.
“On Oct. 1, a part of me changed,” Jovanna Calzadillas said haltingly at a news conference Wednesday, nearly four months after she was shot in a sniper’s attack that killed 58 people — the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
“I spoke to three doctors there and they all told me the same thing — that there was nothing they could do for Jovanna and that it was a non-survivable injury,” her police officer husband, Frank Calzadillas, said emotionally at the news conference.
Frank and Jovanna Calzadillas grew up in the same town and have been a couple for 13 years. Frank Calzadillas was contemplating whether to take his young wife off of life support but decided against it after one fateful night.
He said she came to him in a dream, and “hugged me and kissed me and she said everything’s going to be OK.”
So the family kept fighting.
On Oct. 19, Jovanna Calzadillas was transported to Phoenix to receive treatment at Barrow Neurological Institute and Select Specialty Hospital.
The 30-year-old was forced to re-learn how to do everyday tasks.
Jovanna Calzadillas said what kept her fighting was “my kids and my family. I will not quit on them and I will not quit on myself.”
“She has been a go-getter” and “worked hard at everything we’ve given her,” said Dr. Christina Kwasnica, medical director of neuro-rehabilitation at Barrow Neurological Institute.
“We will not let people like [the shooter] win and we will not live in fear,” Jovanna Calzadillas said. “I feel strong and positive. Plus, I get to boss my husband around.”
She added, “Even though I will not be the same old Jovanna, I will come back stronger.”
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