A remarkable story of survival involving a daughter shot and a mother feared for dead. A year later, the backbone of the Melanson family continues her road to recovery.
“Sometimes I have good days and some days not so good,” said Rosemarie Melanson, 1 October survivor.
Since Oct. 1, 2017, Rosemarie has only been home about five weeks. She has been in and out of the hospital and has had 12 surgeries. When 8 News Now talked with her, the mother of four was weeks away from another surgery.
Doctors told her it may be her last.
“I’m excited because it’s not too far away and I want to be fixed for good but at the same time there’s always that doubt what if?”
8 News Now was there when she was first discharged from the hospital in early February. She had been fighting for her life for four months and was the last survivor to go home.
But after some complications, she was back days later.
“I think my whole outlook is different, you know, you go through so many emotions,” she said.
Emotions that she hasn’t been able to process. She now suffers from anxiety as she continues to recover physically.
But her strength and will to keep fighting has impressed her close knit family.
“I knew she was strong and stubborn but I didn’t know how strong and stubborn she was,” said Paige Melanson, daughter.
Paige and her sister, Stephanie Melanson, were at the concert with their mother. Paige was grazed by a bullet.
After seeing Rosemary in the emergency room for the first time, she knew her mother was barely hanging on to life.
“Seeing her connected to everything, tubes and breathing machines, like I never imagined that I would see my mom like that,” Paige said.
Rosemary’s husband of 31 years, Steve Melanson, says even the doctors couldn’t explain how she survived after taking a bullet in the shoulder that damaged several of her vital organs.
“It’s just by the grace of God that she survived,” he said.
He recalls an interesting conversation with his wife after she woke up for the first time following the shooting.
Rosemary has forgotten a lot of the details of that night but she recalls having an out of body experience after she was shot.
“And then after that she remembers rising above her body and looking down at her body in the grass hearing the gunshots, hearing the people screaming,” Steve Melanson said.
Just like his children, Steve has been by Rosemary’s side every step of the way.
“She’s my hero, she’s my rock. she’s — (gets choked up) — sorry.”
He can’t imagine life without his soulmate. He thought he had lost her in the shooting after hours of searching several hospitals. Her name was not listed anywhere so he turned to his daughter.
“I told her, ‘I don’t think mom made it cause her name was never on the list.'”
But Rosemarie cheated death and survived catastrophic injuries.
“We may be Vegas Strong but as a family we’re Melanson strong,” Steve Melanson said.
When she’s physically able, Rosemary is looking forward to giving back to the community that has given so much to her.
“The amount of cards, the amount of gifts, just– unbelievable,” Rosemarie Melanson said.
She is hoping to plan a vacation soon.