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'I wasn't ready to die': Nurse treats her wounds to survive deadly Las Vegas shooting

Posted 10:32 a.m. Thursday

Las Vegas shooting survivor Natalie Vanderstay told reporters she wasn’t ready to die Sunday night, so she did all she could to escape.

Vanderstay, a 43-year-old Los Angeles nurse who remains in the hospital, recounted the events leading to her survival when 59 people were killed and 500 more were injured in a mass shooting, the largest in modern U.S. history.

Vanderstay said she was hit with a bullet in the chest.

“It hurt so bad. It felt like a huge baseball — just the force of it going through my stomach,” Vanderstay said, according to The Washington Post.

She used her training as a nurse to save her life, wrapping her flannel shirt around her leg.

“I just tried to stay low, but I was being trampled,” she told The Post. “Everyone was stepping on everybody and, unfortunately, I had to step on people too just to get where I needed to get to.”

The only way out was to rely on her instincts.

"I said, 'OK, I can't stay here. I'm going to bleed out.' It hurt so bad," Vanderstay said, according to The Associated Press. "But I knew I didn't want to die. I wasn't ready to die."

Her recovery will take weeks to months.

After she was shot, she hopped over a fence to escape the festival. Then she bunkered down with a group of strangers she met, waiting out the gunfire.

Once the shots stopped, she found a cab with three other people inside. The cab driver took all of the victims to the nearby hospital, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

"If it wasn't for that cab driver, I wouldn't be here," she said. "And I don't know who he is. He did everything to get me here."

Vanderstay’s story is one of many that have come out in the last few days since the shooting.

Survivor Gail Davis told CBS News about how her life was saved by a police officer, who grabbed her and her husband and dragged them somewhere safe. The police officer jumped on top of Davis to help her avoid gunfire.

"He was like my guardian angel; he never left me," Davis said.

Plenty of other heroic stories have emerged in recent days. One witness, Tiffany Michelle, told Fox News that she saw heroes emerge from the shooting.

“There were so many people out there that you wouldn’t think they would be helping others at a time like that, but it wasn’t an 'every-man-for-himself' kind of situation,” Michelle said. “Everybody just sort of grabbed somebody around them and tried to do everything they could to get others out.”

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