Saturday 24 March 2018

Woman shot in Batman massacre saved by 'a miracle'

Petra Anderson (22), a musician.
Petra Anderson (22), a musician.

Nick Allen in Aurora, Colorado

THE survival of a woman shot in the head during the Colorado cinema massacre has been hailed as a "miracle" after a shotgun pellet traversed the precise course of a brain defect she was unaware she had.

According to her family Petra Anderson (22), a musician, lived because she had a rare genetic condition that left her with a small channel of fluid running from the front to the back of her brain.

When she was shot in the face the projectile followed the exact course of the defect, avoiding vital areas and lodging in the rear of her head.

Doctors removed it after five hours of surgery.

Her sister Chloe Anderson said: "It entered right through her nose. It went all the way through her brain and to the back of her skull. It did little damage, which is a mystery to many people, including the doctors."

Ms Anderson, a violinist, had recently graduated from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific in California, and is due to start a master's degree in Maryland.

She had gone to the cinema with two friends to see Batman film 'The Dark Knight Rises' and was among the victims when a gunman dressed in body armour began spraying the audience with bullets.

Twelve people were killed and 58 injured. Suspect James Holmes (24), who later identified himself to police as 'the Joker', made his first appearance in court on Monday.

Ms Anderson's mother Kim Anderson, who has terminal cancer, said her daughter was expected to make a full recovery.

"I believe that she was not only protected by God, but that she was actually prepared for it," she said. "God won't let the suffering or the setbacks have the last word."

Brad Strait, the family's Presbyterian pastor who was at the hospital with them, said: "Kim and I know a miracle when we see it. The doctor explained that Petra's brain has had from birth a small 'defect' in it.

"It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull like a tiny vein through marble. A millimetre in any direction and the channel is missed, the brain is destroyed, evil wins a round."


Another woman who survived the mass shooting on Friday went into labour in the same hospital where her critically injured husband is being treated.

Katie Medley (21) gave birth to a boy she named Hugo, while her husband Caleb Medley (23), a stand-up comedian, was one floor away in a medically induced coma.

He has lost his right eye and suffered some brain damage, according to his family. He was one of 16 victims still in hospital.

Mrs Medley said of the shooting: "I thought it was a prank at first, or someone playing along with the movie because it happened during a fight scene." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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