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By Daniel Ritz
After suffering a gunshot to the face in the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Oct. 1, Natalie Grumet, Dana Point, continues her recovery at home under the care of her husband, Jason.
Covering the healing tracheotomy tube hole in her neck in order to speak, Natalie spoke of the importance of gratitude in a candid interview at her home.
“Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about the people who died that night, think of those who risked their lives to save us, and anyone who was injured that night. I sincerely want to thank everyone who has given me a donation, sent me a prayer, even a good thought.”
With her jaw wired shut, Natalie receives her nutrition through a feeding tube. Due to a sensitive stomach, this is a slow process that can take almost two hours. Natalie said she often takes this time to respond to messages and connect with other Route 91 victims through a Facebook group.
“Everyone thinks my whole day is about relaxing and Netflix, but they are amazed when they see how busy I am,” Natalie said.
Jason, who had not attended the concert with Natalie that night, said he received phone calls from multiple friends who had said Natalie had been shot, and that there was an active shooter at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
After receiving a call saying that Natalie was being transported to Sunrise Hospital, Jason rushed there partially by foot before receiving a ride from a friend.
Jason described the scene at Sunrise Hospital as “chaotic”, and said he identified Natalie, her face covered by an intubation bag and covered in blood, by a particular braid that he noticed in her hair as she passed by on a gurney.
Following her tracheotomy wound healing completely, Natalie will soon be ready for her fifth major surgery—a bone graft from her hip that will be used to reconstruct her jaw. Anyone wishing to contact or support Natalie is encouraged to visit www.facebook.com/warriorNatalie.