Just two weeks after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas injured over 400 concert-goers, one 27-year-old survivor is taking her first steps toward recovery. Tina Frost awoke from a coma on Friday and started walking after sustaining critical injuries in the attack.
Frost, a certified public accountant, was shot in the head while attending the annual music festival with her boyfriend. As a result, doctors had to remove her right eye, and she requires the assistance of a ventilator to breathe. Still, her family has been posting frequent Facebook updates about Frost's condition, and according to Frost's mother, Mary Watson Moreland, Frost continues to improve each day. After waking up from her coma on Friday, Frost can now stand with the assistance of nurses, and can breathe on her own for longer periods of time each day.
As a family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page, set up to cover Frost's medical expenses:
Today has also been a big day for our TT - she is now waking up! She opens her left eye just a lil and looks all around the room at us, taps her feet whenever music is playing, continues to squeeze our hands, and even gives [her boyfriend] Austin a thumbs up when asked. She sometimes taps to music and also took her first steps today with the assistance of the nurses - 3 steps to the chair and 3 steps back to the bed. She's obviously anxious to get her wobble back on. She also breathed on her own for a full 6 hours! We are so proud of our Tina, and everyone is amazed at every single movement she makes.
Frost has been described by friends and family members as "incredibly kind [and] incredibly courageous"; she "would light up her room with her smile." But when Frost was first admitted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, doctors warned that she may never recover, according to The Washington Post. Over the past few days, however, her progress has continued to surprise her family, and she even boarded a medical aircraft on Sunday morning so that she could could be transferred to John Hopkins Hospital in her home state of Maryland.
"It's not about trying to find the best hospital to take care of her," Dr. Keith Blum, a neurosurgeon at Sunrise Hospital, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "What she needs is her community and family, and that's where her support system is."
Frost is just one of the nearly 500 people injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that left 58 dead on the Las Vegas strip on Oct. 1 when an active shooter aimed at the outdoor festival from his suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel. Authorities discovered over 20 rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition in the shooter's hotel room, including many that were modified with a "bump stock" to make the weapons fire more rapidly and inflict more damage on civilians.
Authorities have yet to discover a motive, and as of last week, 31 victims remained hospitalized, some in critical condition. Additionally, Congress has yet to commit to passing meaningful gun reform legislation that could prevent these types of mass shootings from occurring in the future.
But while so many continue to mourn and question how such a tragedy could take place, Frost's recent steps toward recovery are a powerful reminder that despite the devastation that occurred in Las Vegas earlier this month, hundreds of people who were affected by the tragedy, including those who were most critically injured, continue to display strength, resilience, and courage by continuing to heal and move forward.