Route 91 Survivors Harry and Claudia Romero Discuss the Fears They're Facing on the Road to Recovery
"I'm kind of scared to go to a concert right now."
Chino Hills, Calif., residents Claudia Romero, 39, and her husband, Harry, 49, survived the shooting, but that was just the beginning of their ordeal.
Harry: Honestly, life has not gone back to normal. I still have a broken leg. I’m still unable to work. [Romero is on leave from the internet company where he is GM.]
Claudia: Same with me. I lost my job [in customer service]. It has been hard lately because my husband’s still not walking and hasn’t been able to work. I started going to therapy because I don’t think I’m back to normal. Eventually, I will find a job. But right now, getting my husband through recovery is the priority.
Harry: I was shot in both legs. A bullet went through one leg, out and back into my left leg, which shattered both bones in my lower legs. I had surgery the following day. They put in 11 screws. I’m just waiting for it to heal. We haven’t been billed, so I’m assuming [the city of Las Vegas is] taking care of it.
Claudia: The first two months were really hard for him. But I mean, he took a bullet for me; the least I can do is take care of him. My daughter lives with me, so she’s a lot of help. I have my grandkids, too, here. That’s a distraction for us. It keeps us sane.
Harry: We’re normally pretty active. We usually go on a lot of small trips -- Vegas, Palm Springs, San Clemente, things like that -- but we've had to skip at least three or four. I can’t bear weight on my left leg, so I’m using a walker or crutches, and it’s really hard to get around. It’s one of those things where we sit back and wait, basically.
Claudia: I started going to a therapist in February, and I’ve been sleeping better. You have your two choices: Talk about it, don’t talk about it. Listen to country, don’t listen to country. My therapist [tells] me to talk about it. Every time I go see her, we talk about the incident. My nightmares are not as bad as before, but I do wake up off and on in the middle of the night. Before, I couldn’t listen to country music because I would start crying. Now, I cry less.
Harry: Prior to this, I never really paid [the issue of gun control] any mind. If people want to own guns, it’s their own business. But the more I see all these tragedies, I wonder why we still have military weapons legal in the United States. I have no problem with the Second Amendment, but is there really a need for that type of gun? It doesn’t make sense to me. Why not just ban them?
Claudia: On St. Patrick’s Day, I went to a bar. First thing when I walked in there, my heart was in my throat. I couldn’t breathe. I was shaking. I felt like people were going to start shooting. I tell my husband I don’t want to be like that because I love going out. But I’m kind of scared to go to a concert right now. People deal with it in different ways. I have friends who were at Route 91 that have gone to concerts already. I know people who went the next week to see a country music band. But I don’t think I can do it at this moment. I’m not ready. I’m just praying.
As told to Adrienne Gaffney.