Las Vegas Shooting Victim Left Paralyzed While Saving Girlfriend Adapts to His New Life
Jason McMillan swung into action as shots rang out last year, but his heroism came at a cost.
Like many country music fans, Jason McMillan was having fun at Las Vegas' Route 91 Festival last October, when the shooting started.
A sheriff's deputy from southern California, McMillan swung into action and heroically covered his girlfriend with his own body.
"The sound just kept going and going, the 'pop, pop, pop' of the shooting," he said.
As the world would soon learn, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd, leaving 58 people dead and injuring hundreds more.
While on the ground, McMillan--like so many others--had no way to know that Paddock was firing from above in his Mandalay Bay hotel room.
"I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from," he said. "I'm not at a country concert having fun anymore. Now I'm back into work mode and protect and try to end the threat."
But the father-of-two was among the hundreds wounded in the worst mass shooting in modern American history. The injury left him paralyzed below the waist.
Now, nearly a year later, he uses a wheelchair and spends hours in physical therapy.
He also got a puppy - and he got engaged to his girlfriend, Fiorella.
"There's always ways around the obstacles that you're going to face," he said. "I think that's the way I've always lived."
He's also traveled to Hawaii and learned to scuba dive through a program for wounded veterans and law enforcement.
In some ways, McMillan's life has changed radically. But his willingness to face challenges head-on continues to serve him in his new normal.
And he says he has a personal mantra that speaks to that very resilience: "Adapt and still try to enjoy yourself."
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