A woman who spent two years in a nursing facility recovering from spinal injuries she suffered in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history has died.
Kimberly Gervais could become the 59th fatality in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, depending upon the coroner’s verdict.
The 57-year-old was one of at least 800 people injured as Stephen Paddock unleashed more than 1,000 rounds of bullets into crowds at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on 1 October.
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Police officers raided Paddock’s high rise room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Vegas strip minutes after the gunfire stopped, where they found he had killed himself.
Ms Gervais had attended the festival with two friends, one of whom was killed in the massacre, her sister Dena Sarvela told KPTV.
The night before the shooting, Ms Gervais told her sister she felt ready to sell her business, retire and enjoy the rest of her life, the US TV station reported.
“She worked her life, and butt off for … just to go enjoy, you know … and she doesn’t get that. She doesn’t get that chance,” Ms Sarvela said.
Ms Gervais, who was reportedly paralysed in the attack, spent the two remaining years of her life in a Californian nursing facility.
Her sister said Ms Gervais remained in pain during this period because of shrapnel lodged in her body: “There was scrap metal still in her because he used exploding bullets.”
In October, MGM Resorts, which owns the Mandalay Bay Hotel, agreed to pay up to $800m (£647m) to settle lawsuits brought by the victims of the attack.
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Prior to this, the company had sought to avoid liability via a federal law enacted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that decreed in acts of terrorism, companies could not be held liable.
But pursuit of this defence meant the organisation was forced to counter-sue more than 1,000 victims, dragging them through the courts.
Ms Gervais suffered PTSD and panic attacks in the wake of the horror, her daughter Amber Manka wrote on a GoFundMe page less than three weeks after the attack.
At least 1,500 donors give more than $130,000 (£100,660) towards Ms Gervais’ treatment for her extensive injuries.
The government of Clark County in Nevada paid tribute to the “physical and emotional toll” the Las Vegas shooting had taken on Ms Gervais as her death was announced.
“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Kim Gervais,” Clark County wrote on social media. “For the past two years, she had battled the physical and psychological toll of the Las Vegas shooting.”
Ms Gervais died on 15 November at Redlands Community Hospital, San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Department said in statement. A coroner is working to establish the cause and manner of her death.
Her sister told KPTV: “She’ll never leave my heart, ever.”