Hospital a long way from home for Las Vegas shooting survivor

Updated October 25, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Andrew Gudmunson wants to get better so he can get back home.

Home is 1,400 miles away in Minot, North Dakota — a place he’s been away from for more than three weeks since he was injured in the Oct. 1 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

Gudmunson, who said he’s focused on his recovery, declined to be interviewed by the Review-Journal, but shared his story via social media.

In the message, he said a combination of actions by his girlfriend, McKenna Larson, and three strangers helped him survive the bullet that hit him on the left side of his abdomen, went through his body, and exited through his right side.

“… Once I was hit, I was unable to walk,” Gudmunson said wrote. “(Larson) managed to get the help of a complete stranger, Maurice (Solis) who got me in a wheelbarrow from one of the vendor stands, pushed me out of the venue to the street, all while shots were still ringing out.”

Help continued to come to Gudmunson in the form of a second stranger, a person in a car who drove them to the hospital.

They are still looking for the driver.

“… He was the right guy for the job, weaving through traffic, getting me to the hospital as quickly as possible,” Gudmunson wrote.

At the hospital, Gudmunson encountered his fourth hero, Dr. Neal “Matt” Foley, who immediately got Gudmunson to the operating room where the first of four surgeries began.

“My journey to the ER wasn’t orthodox or even legal, but I was the third person on an operating table because of it and we have been told repeatedly I wouldn’t be here today if it had gone any differently,” he wrote, adding that above everyone, he had Larson to thank the most.

“As if I needed another reason to love that girl, she saved my life, plain and simple,” Gudmunson wrote.

Solis, who helped get Gudmunson into the wheelbarrow and out of the venue, told the Review-Journal he gained new family members that night.

“Andrew is a fighter and McKenna is super amazing and has a ridiculous amount of courage,” Solis said.

After spending the first nine days of his hospital stay under sedation, Gudmunson said it was difficult to comprehend how much support he has received from both the Las Vegas community and his hometown known as the “Magic City.”

“… The scope of the outpouring of support really become overwhelming and leaves me feeling extremely grateful,” he said.

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

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