On October 1, 2017, countless lives were changed forever when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fifty-eight people were killed, 851 were injured, and scores more still bear the emotional and psychological scars of that day.
One of the shooting victims was Jovanna Calzadillas. The 30-year-old mother of two was attending the concert with her husband, Francisco ‘Frank’ Calzadillas, when the gunman opened fire and she was shot in the head.
She was rushed to the hospital, but doctors didn’t give Frank much hope that she would survive. They even told him to consider removing her from life support.
Frank agonized over what to do, but after having a dream where Jovanna came to him and told him everything was going to be okay, he decided he had to continue helping her fight for her life.
Finally, against all odds – and to the doctors’ amazement – Jovanna woke up!
“Her gunshot wound was severe, but we as a family left it in God’s hands, and here she is,” said Frank, an officer with the Salt River Police Department in Arizona, as he beamed proudly at his wife.
For the past four months, Jovanna has been working tirelessly to get her life back. The progress has been slow and often frustrating, but Jovanna is determined to fight, not only for herself, but for her family.
In a recent press conference, Jovanna shared her story with reporters. While it is sometimes laborious for her to get the words out, she persevered and left the room stunned by her fortitude and positivity.
“On October 1st, a part of me changed that night,” she said. “Even though I will not be the same old Jovanna, I will come back stronger.”
“I will not quit on them,” Jovanna said of her family. “And I will not quit on myself.”
“I feel strong and positive, plus I get to boss my husband around,” she joked.
Her message was a powerful one to all of the victims of that horrific shooting and to others who might be living in fear after so many tragedies worldwide.
“We will not let people like him win,” she said. “We will not live in fear.”
Jovanna is now at home and continues in her recovery. Her story is so inspiring and should serve as an example to all of us to not let our circumstances – whatever they may be – keep us down. We must continue to fight, no matter what comes our way.
Were you inspired by Jovanna’s strength and resiliency? Then share it!