Las Vegas shooting survivors take in Western Conference Final
Jan Lambourne is pictured at left, Jody Ansell at right. (Source: Jan Lambourne)
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 5:59PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, May 17, 2018 5:18AM CST
Game one of the Western Conference Final was both a special and emotionally-charged night for a Manitoba woman.
Not just because the Jets won but perhaps more because of which city the team played.
Still recovering from injuries suffered during the October 2017 shooting at an outdoor country music festival In Las Vegas which left 58 people dead, Jan Lambourne of Teulon, Man. was determined last Saturday night to get to the hockey game.
She found tickets and took her friend Jody Ansell.
Ansell and Lambourne were at the festival together when the mass shooting occurred.
The two became separated amid the chaos.
A bartender named Justin Uhart helped Lambourne get to ambulance after she was hit with a bullet in the stomach, shattering bone in her pelvis.
Ansell was hit in the arm with a bullet, but her injuries weren’t as severe as Lambourne’s.
“I said, ‘If they get in, we’re going,’” said Lambourne. “I feel like I have a connection.”
It was a playoff game between her favourite team, the Winnipeg Jets, and their opposition, the Vegas Golden Knights, a city she feels connected to after being caught in the massacre
Lambourne still uses a combination of crutches, a walker and wheelchair to get around and is doing physiotherapy to help with her injuries.
“My problem isn’t walking, it’s sitting,” Lambourne explained.
She described her recovery as an agonizing process. Not only because of the physical injuries but the mental trauma she lives with. Still, she’s determined to fight through it.
Lambourne said it wasn’t easy sitting through a hockey game, but she managed and the experience and excitement of the game helped ease any anxiety she felt about attending.
“It was very emotional,” said Lambourne. “I was excited to be able to go. I’ve been watching the Winnipeg Jets’ whole season from a hospital bed in my living room so to be able to go physically and mentally was a huge step for me.”
“It was great Jody and I could go together after seeing the beautiful tribute Vegas did at their home game. We wanted to pay our respect to our 58 angels, also.”
Lambourne doesn’t plan to stop cheering on the Jets anytime soon. She’ll be watching from home Wednesday night when they take on the Golden Knights in game 3 in Las Vegas.
“Excited to see the Jets play tonight,” said Lambourne. “So pumped for this game.”
She said she has kept in touch with Uhart who is a Golden Knights fan, adding the two have a friendly rivalry going.
The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 after the first two games.