The saying “home for the holidays” has a special meaning this year for a 1 October survivor and her family.
Rosemarie Melanson received catastrophic injuries in the mass shooting.
Even her doctors were surprised she survived and Melanson has been in and out of the hospital for more than a year.
“I’m so excited about the holidays this year,” Melanson said. “Excited to be home and be sharing it with family and friends.”
Melanson never thought this day would come when she would start feeling like her old self.
“I’m feeling much better much better, better all the time,” Melanson said.
Melanson left the hospital in early February. She had been fighting for her life for four months and was the last survivor to go home, but after some complications, she was back days later.
“Sometimes I have good days and some days not so good,” Melanson said.
8 News NOW caught up with her again in late august at the hospital, awaiting yet another surgery. Back then, she had trouble talking, walking, and couldn’t eat solid food. Now, she’s doing all of that and more.
“I’m driving. I’ve been driving for about three weeks,” Melanson added. “I’ve been waiting for this day a long time.”
After 12 surgeries, Melanson is home and has no plans on ever being re-admitted into a hospital again. She was discharged one last time in late October.
Melanson was able to celebrate her birthday and 32nd wedding anniversary at home for the first time since 1 October. She’s even preparing to host a Christmas party and there’s something else she’s celebrating.
December 19 is now a very special day.
“Mayor Goodman asked us to come down to city council hall and they declared it Rosemarie Melanson day in the City of Las Vegas,” Melanson said.
Melanson’s husband works for the city and says they’ve been very accommodating. The family has spent many months and sleepless nights at the hospital, but those days are behind them.
They’ve been so supportive, and I don’t know how I would have gotten through without my family and friends,” Melanson added. “I mean they’ve been right there by my side, this whole entire year and when I was in my lowest of lows, they were there.”
Melanson will still have to visit her doctor regularly for checkups and do physical therapy.
She hopes her family can also begin healing mentally.