Natalie Grumet, who was shot in the face during the Las Vegas shooting on October 1, is being flown to a hospital in Southern California, where she lives with her husband.
“The thing that I think is first and foremost in our minds is gratitude to God that Natalie is counted among the injured and not among those who are deceased,” said Lori Weisel, Grumet’s mother.
Natalie and her husband Jason are paying the costs of the transportation with funds raised by a GoFundMe page set up by a family member on Monday. With an original goal of $50,000, the fund had reached $97,000 on Thursday afternoon.
“We are overwhelmed with the generosity, love, prayers, support of the Jewish community as a whole, of our temple — of people we know and people we just exchanged a ‘Shabbat shalom’ with,” Weisel said. “They reached out and made donations to the GoFundMe site.”
Weisel said that having these funds will make all the difference for Natalie and Jason, who came under deep financial stress in paying for Natalie’s breast cancer treatment. She was diagnosed with cancer at 26, but has been in remission for close to a decade.
“It’s just been within the last year or two that they’ve been able to recover from that,” Weisel said.
Grumet was taken to the airport this morning to travel by air ambulance to Mission Hospital in Mission Viego, California, where she works as an ultrasound technician. Weisel said that the hospital staff was ready to receive her.
Grumet will have to wait to undergo the multiple reconstructive surgeries that her doctors in Las Vegas said would be necessary to repair the damage from the bullet. She was shot in the cheek, shattering her mandible and ripping off a large chunk of flesh.
Weisel said the doctors are waiting for the inflammation and swelling in Grumet’s face and lungs to go down before they attempt further operations. Grumet is currently breathing with the help of a tracheostomy tube.
Weisel said that throughout this ordeal, Jason has been staying strong for Natalie and their family with help from his inner sense of spirituality.
He has been praying over Natalie and speaking words to her in Hebrew,” Weisel said.
“He is our rock.”
This story "Las Vegas Shooting Victim Returns To California" was written by Ari Feldman.