Health

How one bullet shattered a body and a family

One bullet

One bullet shattered Chelsea Romo’s left eye and nearly blinded her right. It exploded inside her head. It caused swelling that actually shifted the position of her brain. Shrapnel exploded throughout her skull and face.

Courtesy Chelsea Romo

That bullet was among 1,100 others fired by the gunman who attacked the crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas.

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Romo, who is the mother of a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, thought she would never see them again.

Mallory Simon/CNN

For a week after the shooting, she slipped in and out of consciousness. And during the moments when she was awake, everything was black.

Courtesy Chelsea Romo

Then a little light returned, and she started adjusting to her new normal.

CNN

She parts her hair on the other side now to cover the missing eye as much as possible. Her future includes several more surgeries, and ultimately, a prosthetic.

Mallory Simon/CNN

Rosemarie Melanson was also hit by a single bullet that awful night in Las Vegas.

It hit her chest and ricocheted through her body, ripping apart nearly everything it touched: a rib, her lower right lung, stomach, spleen and liver.

Courtesy Melanson Family

She’s still in the hospital, too sick to talk or even keep tea down. Her husband, Steve, and daughter, Paige, are her constant companions.

Mallory Simon/CNN

Paige is ready for action — on behalf of the 58 people who died in the Vegas incident and those wounded and killed before and since. She wants the nation to have a serious conversation about ending gun violence.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

...us in Vegas, we’ve had our grieving period ... we’re moving on. We’re ready to talk about it, but in the meantime you’ve had Texas, you’ve had Parkland. When is going to be the right time?

Paige Melanson