Surviving victim of on-air shooting lost a kidney

from USATODAY – News Top Stories http://ift.tt/1KtJRvf

The woman who survived an on-air shooting that killed two Virginia journalists Wednesday faced life-threatening injuries, losing her right kidney and part of her colon, her family announced Friday.

Vicki Gardner, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, was being interviewed by reporter Alison Parker and filmed by camera man Adam Ward when a disgruntled former TV station employee began shooting. Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, died.

Gardner was rushed to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where she underwent surgery for "immediate life-threatening injuries" sustained when the gunman shot her once in the back, the family statement said. Gardner had a second surgery Thursday to further repair damage done by the bullet.

Gardner is now awake, talking and in good condition, according to the statement.

"Vicki has shown her amazing strength in many ways over the years, and this week’s incident again revealed that strength and her determination. After being injured and having witnessed the murders of Alison and Adam, she walked herself to the ambulance and called her husband to let him know what had happened," the statement said.

The alleged gunman, Vester Flanagan, died Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being pursued by police.Gardner’s family expressed grief over the deaths of Parker and Ward and thanked hospital staff and emergency medical service workers in Franklin County, Va. who helped her.

"We are heartbroken at the loss of Adam Ward and Alison Parker, two shining stars in our region. Our condolences go to their families, their many colleagues in the media community — especially WDBJ7, and their many friends throughout our area. Adam and Alison always made getting up in the morning a little bit easier and a lot more fun," the statement said.

"We are also grateful for the overwhelming love shown by you in support of Vicki these last few days. For the countless prayers, flowers, and phone calls – thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

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