Las Vegas shooting: Los Angeles nurse, critically wounded by gunfire, hails cab to hospital

LAS VEGAS (KABC) -- A Los Angeles nurse recovers in a trauma hospital in Las Vegas after being shot during the Route 91 Harvest Festival by a gunman who opened fire from a hotel room.

Natalie Vanderstay was shot in the stomach and hit with shrapnel in the leg.

"It felt like a huge baseball, just the force of it going through my stomach. Then I looked down and there was blood everywhere and I knew I was shot," she said.

In that moment, Vanderstay knew she had two options: stay and bleed out or push through the excruciating pain to get away from the gunfire.

"It hurt so bad, but I didn't want to die. I wasn't ready to die, so I just kept pushing forward and tried to use my best instinct and tried to stay low and I was being trampled. It was so hard to move, everyone was stepping on everybody," she said. "Unfortunately, I had to step on people just to get to where I needed to get to."

The 43-year-old ended up passing dead and dying people along the way, but she didn't stop because she needed to survive. She barely made it to a cab with three people already inside, who all took care of her as the driver rushed her to University Medical Center.

"If it wasn't for that cab driver I wouldn't be here, and I don't know who he is," she said.

As a nurse, Vanderstay knows the physical recovery will take months. But the mental and emotional scars will last a lifetime.

Vanderstay is one of 489 people injured in the mass shooting that was carried out by a gunman identified as Stephen Paddock. Paddock was a native to the area and rented a room at the Mandalay Bay hotel on the 32nd floor, where he carried out the attack.

At least 58 people, in addition to Paddock, who took his own life, were killed in the massacre. Of those 58 killed, 26 people were from Southern California.
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