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Mother's injuries during Las Vegas shooting leave daughters with impossible choice

Posted at 6:21 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 04:53:17-04

A woman's injuries during the concert put her daughters in an unfathomable position.

They had to decide whether to leave their mother behind in order to survive or stay and put their own lives in danger.

Rosemarie Melanson was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with her daughters, Paige and Stephanie.

It was the girls' Mother's Day gift to her.

When the shooting started, they saw Rosemarie face-down in the grass.

"That's when I knew something was wrong," Paige Melanson said.

The sisters were torn by what to do with their mother.

"I just kept screaming at my mom to look at me and that it wasn't her time to go," Stephanie Melanson said. "I remember how cold she felt."

Ultimately, a good Samaritan with medical training helped make the decision for them.

"He looked at [us] and said, 'You need to go now if you want to stay alive. You need to run,'" Paige Melanson said. "We had to leave our mom laying there."

Paige had been shot in the elbow, but she says that pain was nothing compared to what came next.

For the next 11 hours, the family didn't know where Rosemarie was.

Steve Melanson, her husband, went to University Medical Center hoping for news. He met another woman there suffering through similar agony.

"I told her about my wife and then she told me about her husband," Steve Melanson said. "He was shot in the head. So we just cried on each other."

Finally, the Melansons learned Rosemarie was alive at Sunrise Hospital.

"It was the greatest feeling knowing then because of the unknowing up to that point that she was alive," Steve Melanson said.

Rosemarie had her second surgery Tuesday. Paige Melanson says it went well.