Two years after a horrific attack at a Las Vegas hotel became the deadliest shooting in modern American history, a California woman who was shot and paralyzed that night has died.
The woman, Kim Gervais, 57, was a country music fan, small-business owner and mother of two daughters.
Her death was announced by the office of the San Bernardino County coroner, which said that Ms. Gervais had been nursing her injuries at a facility in Redlands and had died on Friday. The coroner is performing an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
If it is connected to her injuries, it will bring the death toll from the shooting to 59 people.
An assessment of the shooting, released by the Las Vegas police in 2018, said that 869 people had been injured in the attack, including 413 wounded by bullets or shrapnel.
Ms. Gervais had been the subject of an article in The New York Times about her recovery. On Tuesday, her daughter Amber Manka said she was mourning the loss of a “super mom” whose internal strength predated the shooting. Ms. Manka said she felt “cloudy” and “all over the place emotionally.”
Ms. Gervais ran a business servicing trash compactors and liked to spend weekends riding ATVs in the desert. After her husband, a sprint car racer, died in a crash, she brought up her daughters alone.
She attended the concert in Las Vegas, part of the Route 91 Harvest festival, with two friends, Pati Mestas and Dana Smith. The trio had attended country music shows together for years, and family members remembered how excited they were as they planned each outing.
On Oct. 1, 2017, they joined the rest of the crowd in Las Vegas in singing “God Bless America.” Then came the crack of gunfire.
Ms. Mestas died, Ms. Smith survived. Ms. Gervais ended up paralyzed.
In her hospital room a few days later, she struggled to understand what had happened.
“Why would one person do something like this to people?” she said. “If you’re that unhappy with your life, why hurt others?”
Ms. Gervais had five grandchildren.
On Tuesday, Ms. Manka said the two years since the shooting had been “extremely hard for everyone.” She also called them a “blessing filled with last talks and precious time.”
A bullet had lodged in Ms. Gervais’s vertebrae, and doctors had declared her quadriplegic. She was in a lot of pain, her daughter said, and had lost her “zest for life.”
In June, her injuries landed her in the hospital again, and she went into cardiac arrest twice. After doctors told the family that she was brain-dead, Ms. Gervais surprised everyone by waking up the following morning, Ms. Manka said.
She held on for just a few more months.
The Las Vegas police determined that Stephen Paddock, a high-stakes gambler, had carried an arsenal into the Mandalay Bay hotel and opened fire from a window high above the concert. In the 2018 report, they could find no clear motive for his actions.
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