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1 October bartender heals by honoring victims through random acts of kindness

Posted at 6:12 PM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 22:13:30-05

Long-time bartender Heather Gooze has many great memories working the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

"It's a great time," Gooze said. "You can't imagine not coming back the next day and the next day."

But things have changed. She now wears a bracelet with the words "Survivor" as a permanent reminder of the terrible 1 October night that left her with PTSD.

"I lose sense of where I'm at and my surroundings," Gooze said.

Through the mass chaos on 1 October, Gooze helped hurt people into cars that eventually took them to hospitals. One victim who was not so lucky was Jordan McIldoon, who Gooze sat next to for nearly 4 hours, so he would not be alone even after he passed.

"I felt the need to do something, even if it was just to sit with somebody," Gooze said.

The memories of that night now haunt Gooze, who as an event bartender has stopped working major events.

She recalls a day when a fire alarm sent her into a panic.

"I remember jumping off the bed, and I was curled up in the corner between the bed and the wall screaming," Gooze said.

Gooze is taking steps to help her heal. She will be working the Vegas Strong Concert selling 50-50 raffle tickets Friday night.

She is also committing "random acts of kindness" across the city. Each time she buys something or does something nice for someone she passes the person a note with a victims name on it and a message to honor them.

She is committing 58 "random acts of kindness" in honor of each victim killed. She has already passed out many of the messages but is waiting to pass out McIldoon's.

"Whatever I do to honor him it won't be enough, but you know these 58 deserve to never be forgotten," Gooze said.

Gooze is also working to ban the sale of bump stocks. She will be speaking in front of Congress in Washington D.C. next week.