Las Vegas family that survived 1 October using their story to help others

Five years after the 1 October tragedy, many families are finding ways to continue moving forward.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:20 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Five years after the 1 October tragedy, many families are finding ways to continue moving forward.

One of those families is the Melanson’s, who are using their story to help others.

“The faith kept us going and our family, we are a tight-knit family, overtime it has gotten us to where we are today,” Paige Melanson said.

It’s been a long road to recovery for Rosemarie and her two daughters, Paige and Stephanie, survivors of the deadly shooting.

“The hardest thing is recognizing that there are still 58, and then now plus 2 that are not here from this one day, one event, one moment in time, and that is sometimes hard to process,” Paige said.

“When this time of year does come around, it obviously brings us back to five years ago, and it’s hard this time of year, especially because you remember what you’ve been through, and it was a lot,” Rosemarie said.

The three were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival as a Mother’s Day gift. A fun event that quickly turned into horror.

“I was shot in the chest, it broke two ribs, it punctured my lungs, blew out the junction where the esophagus meets the stomach, it went through my stomach, took out a third of my liver, went through my spleen, my kidneys were affected, torn rotator cuff,” Rosemarie said.

Rosemarie was one of the most severely injuries survivors. She spent two months in a coma and more than 13 months in the hospital. She’s also had at least a dozen surgeries.

“They did not expect me to make it, I beat the odds as doctors would tell me over and over again, it was always one step forward, two steps back,” she said.

With the support of family and the community, she made it through.

“I’m stronger in so many ways five years later, physically, spiritually, emotionally, but it has taken this time to get here, but with baby steps I was able to overcome,” she said.

Paige has a scar from the gunshot injury on her elbow.

“I have felt guilty for being one of the survivors at times because you can’t help to wonder why, why it was them, why you, why did it all have to happen?,” Paige said.

She says they’re now focused on helping others going through a tragedy.

“We don’t want to live in fear, we don’t want to let one event define us for the rest of our life and go out and be supportive to people around you, you never know what they are going through and it’s an important message to be kind always.”

Rosemarie has even written a book titled “Beating the Odds with Kindness, Humility, and Love.”

“To let them know that you can get through whatever obstacles you’re facing, it’s just baby steps, one step at a time, if I can get through it, you can too,” she said.

A Vegas Strong family finding purpose in the face of tragedy.

Rosemarie’s book will be available in mid-October on Amazon. A large portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center for mental health services.