‘It replays in my mind’: Manitoba woman shot in Las Vegas arrives back home
STONEWALL, MAN. — It was a Thanksgiving Jody Ansell will never forget because just over a week ago she wasn’t sure she would be alive to see it.
“I had so much to be thankful for this year,” Jody Ansell said from her home in Stonewall. “I still can’t believe it.”
Ansell was shot in the right arm below her elbow during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. A gunman open fired into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and killed 58 people.
She arrived home in Manitoba in time to celebrate the holiday with her family.
“My arm’s healing quite well. There’s a lot of bruising yet and I still have some pain,” she said.
“Dealing with issues of trauma but no doubt in my mind I’m going to make a full recovery.”
Her friend, Jan Lambourne, was shot in the stomach and after emergency surgery in Las Vegas she was airlifted back to Canada where she remains in hospital.
“It was so great to see her. Knowing she was ok,” she said.
Ansell and Lambourne were two of the more than 500 people wounded that night.
The mother of two can still vividly remember the moments of the shooting and the thought she wasn’t going to survive.
“We started hearing people screaming and people dropping and running and dit-dit-dit-dit,” Ansell said. “He was still firing on and on and on. I bent down to see if my girlfriend was okay and that’s when I was shot and I was bleeding so bad I knew I had to get out of there.”
Ansell fled to a nearby tent and hid behind a garbage can but the bleeding wouldn’t stop. She knew she needed help so she tried to flag down a passing vehicle.
“I tried to stop them and nobody would stop,” she said through tears. “So I said the next one is going to either hit me or stop and they did, they stopped. I told them I got shot. The woman took her own shirt off to wrap around my arm. I heard them say ‘we have to get her to the hospital, we have to get her to the hospital.'”
Ansell wasn’t sure if she was going to make it. The women helped her try to call her family, but no one was answering. That’s when she left emotional goodbye voicemails to each of them.
“I had 13 missed calls,” her son Darren Sherlock said. “She was pretty much calling to say goodbye because she didn’t know…”
Ansell said she was one of the lucky ones. But the anxiety she still feels is overwhelming. Especially when she had to go back to the Mandalay Bay – the hotel she was staying at.
“I had so much anxiety. Everything was still barricaded off. Then of course you see the broken windows,” she said. “I had the manager escort me to my room. I didn’t even want to go through the halls.”
WATCH: Global News coverage of Las Vegas shooting aftermath
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