Woman Who Was Paralyzed in Las Vegas Mass Shooting Has Died
The mass shooting that killed 58 people in Las Vegas in 2017 has claimed another victim. Fox 12 in Oregon reports that a woman who was shot and paralyzed in the shooting rampage has died as a result of her injuries.
Vancouver resident Dena Sarvela tells Fox 12 that her sister, Kim Gervais, was among those who were seriously injured on Oct. 1, 2017, when a lone gunman opened fire on the audience at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas from a hotel room contiguous to the concert site. Her injuries left her paralyzed.
“She went with two other friends, one walked out. She was in the hospital, rendered quadriplegic, and the other one, she saw die in front of her,” Sarvela says.
Sarvela says Gervais' heart stopped on Friday (Nov. 15) as a result of the massive stress on her body, but in reality, the gunman robbed her of the last two years of her life before she actually died.
“She hurt. Even though she was paralyzed from the neck up, she could feel all the pain,” Sarvela states. “There was scrap metal still in her because he used exploding bullets.”
“She lost her zest for life because of it, because of the shooting, because of her injuries that she sustained. It was hard to be that same person, that we all know and love," Sarvela adds. “When I saw her, you could just tell. She was done. I want to keep going and going and I just… it’s hard for me to find the words. That day it will never leave my mind, the day I got to see her.”
Sarvela says Gervais had worked hard all of her life, lost her husband in 2000 and raised their daughters alone while continuing to run their small business. She was getting ready to retire and travel the world right before she attended the concert.
"And it was snatched from her. She worked her life, and butt off for – just to go enjoy, you know, and she doesn’t get that, she doesn’t get that chance,” she laments.
Still, she says she takes some comfort from the idea that her sister is once again with her husband.
"That’s what gives me hope – that she’s with him right now. Gives me a lot of hope, and I know they are,” Sarvela says.
Gervais' family have planned two memorial services; one in Los Angeles, where she lived, and another in Kansas City, where she grew up. Afterward, Sarvela and her brother will take her ashes on a road trip across the country, honoring a tradition that began when they were children.
It was announced in October that MGM Resorts has reached a settlement with the Vegas victims in which the shooting victims will collectively receive between $735 million and $800 million as a result of the mass shooting, which took place at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
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