For the first time since leaving for the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas nearly four months ago, Jovanna Calzadillas is going home
For the first time since leaving for the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas nearly four months ago, Jovanna Calzadillas is going home.
The Arizona mother of two, 30, was shot in the head on Oct. 1 when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fired on the outdoor concert from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Although doctors initially told Jovanna’s husband Frank that she was unlikely to survive after a bullet that went through her brain, Jovanna made what doctors are calling a “miraculous” recovery and is scheduled to leave the hospital Thursday.
“On Oct. 1, a part of me changed that night. Even though I will not be the same old Jovanna, I will come back stronger,” said Jovanna at a news conference at the Barrow Neurological Institute Wednesday, according to Arizona’s 3TV/CBS 5. “We will not let people like him win. We will not live in fear.”
Despite the initial grim prognosis from the team at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Frank dreamed that his wife visited him with a positive sign.
“She hugged me and kissed me and she said, ‘Everything is going to be OK,’ and she walked away,” Frank, a police officer, said. “And I called her mom and said, ‘We’re keeping Jovanna alive. She’s going to be alright.'”
Jovanna was transported by air to Phoenix on Oct. 19 to be closer to home, and doctors have been thrilled with the steps forward she has taken.
“Her progress from the day I first met her is nothing short of miraculous,” Dr. Lindley Bliss said at the press conference.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Although she was in a wheelchair for Wednesday’s press conference, Jovanna is learning how to walk again and making advancements in her speech, despite the language center of her brain being injured.
She will continue her recovery in out-patient therapy.
RELATED VIDEO: Las Vegas Comes Together
Jovanna said her family, including her 11 and 3-year-old children, inspire her to keep going.
“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.”
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family with expenses has raised nearly $90,000.