PHOENIX — The night of October 1, Jovanna Calzadillas’s family, her husband, and parents were told to expect the worst.
At one point in the hospital in Las Vegas, her husband and mother discussed the possibility of taking her off life support.
After nearly four months in hospitals, Jovanna still needs help with most aspects of life, but not with cracking jokes.
“I feel strong and positive, plus I get to boss my husband around,” she said.
Joanna and her husband Frank were at the concert the night of the Las Vegas massacre to celebrate Frank’s safe return from a deployment to the Middle East.
She was one of the first patients to arrive at the emergency room in Las Vegas — a bullet hit her in the head and lodged in her spinal cord.
Doctors asked Frank about donating her organs.
“I had a dream that Jovanna visited me and she hugged me and kissed me and told me everything was gonna be ok, and she walked away, and I called her mom and said we’re keeping Jovanna alive, she’s gonna be alright,” Frank said.
Little by little, she got stronger.
She spent 18 days in a Las Vegas hospital before being transferred home to Phoenix.
Two days after Christmas, she was walking with the help of an exoskeleton.
Her doctors say her family was a constant source of strength.
“Their support was just something that was truly memorable and her progress from the day I met her was nothing short of miraculous,” the doctor said.
Joanna says she wants others to know her story and be inspired.
“On October 1st, part of me changed that night. Even though I will not be the same old Jovanna, I will come back stronger,” she said.
Frank Calzadillas says his goal is to get his wife back to where she was before the shooting. Jovanna says the first thing she wants to do when she gets home is go to Disneyland.