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Las Vegas mass shooting survivor gets special, permanent symbol to help heal emotional wounds

Posted at 10:16 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 08:42:32-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas woman is choosing to remember the tragic 1 October shooting with a symbol that signifies all that she has overcome, three years removed from the terrible event.

An organization called Healing Ink is on a mission to help survivors of violence, war, and terrorism to help express what words cannot.

Rylie Golgart was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and managed to get to the front of the stage just as Jason Aldean was performing.

But soon, she heard screams and she was running for her life.

She managed to get to an area behind some cover, thinking it was safe to gather herself and tend to her wounded knee.

"Right as I'm about to sit down, I was shot in my lower back," explained Golgart.

The pain led to panic when she couldn't get away from the danger that was still firing down on the crowd of spectators.

"Everything went numb and I remember probably blacking out for a few seconds, I remember looking up from the ground and I couldn't move my legs," explained Golgart.

Golgart was able to get to the hospital with the help of her father who managed to save more lives by transporting injured people in the back of his truck.

For so many, the physical healing process is one battle, but the invisible, emotional scars her just as much.

"A lot of times, trauma victims are seen or when thought out or they're viewed as having these gnarly scars, there's apparent injuries, but a lot of times the scars are on the inside," said Zach "Southpaw" Hunter, a tattoo artist with Healing Ink.

The markings on the bodies serve as an important reminder of where they've been and more importantly, just how far they've come.

"We tattoo on top of the scars or near the scars physically, and also doing memorial tattoos on them of what they persevered through," explained Southpaw.

Rylie knows her scars, both physical and emotional will likely never heal but now she has a symbol that the past doesn't mean you can't rise again.

"I'm a walking miracle from my past,and everything, so me looking down at that really shows me how far I've come," explained Golgart.

For more information on Healing Ink, you can visit here.