A University of the Pacific graduate who was shot four times during the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. on Friday has successfully come through surgery and was moved out of the intensive care unit, according to her pastor in Colorado.
Petra Anderson was shot three times in the arm and once in the head while at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." At about 12:30 a.m. Friday, suspect James Holmes, 24, opened fire in the theater, killing 12 and injuring 58.
Anderson is a Colorado native who graduated from the University of the Pacific in May as a composition major in the Conservancy of Music.
She was attending the movie with two of her friends who were biking across America, according to a blog by Brad Strait, the senior pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo. Anderson's family are members at the church.
"You and I have been inundated with news about what happened next. A joyful movie turned into bloody, unbelievable chaos," Strait wrote.
He visited the 22-year-old in the hospital, and said doctors credited a brain defect Anderson had but did not know about with the bullet causing less brain trauma, Strait wrote on his blog, Celtic Straits.
Anderson was shot through her nose, the bullet traveling through her brain, according to Strait. Doctors and her family worried if she survived surgery whether she would have brain damage.
"The doctors prior to surgery were concerned, because so much of the brain had been traversed by the bullet. Many areas of brain function were involved," Strait wrote.
After a five-hour surgery, doctors told the family there was little damage to the brain, and they were able to successfully remove the bullet. Later, they also told her a small birth defect might have saved her life.
Anderson had a small channel of fluid running through her skull that would have only been noticeable by a CAT scan, Strait said. The bullet entered her brain through that channel, he wrote.
"Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Anderson's nose through her brain. ... And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain," Strait wrote.
Anderson still has other surgeries to go through, including facial reconstruction, Strait wrote. To read his entire post, visit bstrait.wordpress.com.
Family and friends are fundraising to pay for Anderson's treatment. On Indiegogo.com, which raises money for different projects or campaigns, Petra Anderson's sister Chloe Anderson talks about her family's reaction to the shooting in a video.
"Hearing the descriptions of what happened that night is like hearing someone talk about the worst parts of the movie just coming right off of the screen and into reality," Chloe Anderson said. "Our family has been shaken by the events of last Friday, but we have not been broken, any more than this community has been broken."
Chloe Anderson discussed the financial stress her family is under because Petra Anderson did not have health insurance. Petra Anderson's mother Kim is supposed to start an aggressive yearlong cancer treatment at the end of July.
"My sister's hospital bills on top of that are making the financial reality look pretty daunting, so that's why we are reaching out to you, the people who have already asked us what you can do to help," Chloe Anderson said in the video.
The site has already raised $186,823 as of 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, toward a goal of $250,000. The first $100,000 will go toward costs related to Petra Anderson's recovery. The next $150,000 and any extra money raised will be split between Kim Anderson's cancer treatment and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, a nonprofit that has been tasked with helping the victims of the shooting.
For information on how you can help, visit www.indiegogo. com/readytobelieve.