Chelsea Romo, the Wildomar woman who lost her left eye and suffered severe injuries to her right one during a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, returned home Saturday, Oct. 7, to a slew of well-wishers including family, friends and neighbors.
“It was amazing to see all the people out there,” said Romo’s cousin, Matt Schneider of Rancho Santa Margarita. “There were people that didn’t even know her that were just from the neighborhood and heard about what was going on and wanted to be there just to provide that support.”
Romo was helped out of a car by a cousin and her children’s father and went inside her home after being greeted by her kids. It was the first time they had seen their mom outside the hospital where she was being treated.
Romo was among the hundreds injured when gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in what is being called the worst mass shooting in American history.
Though the injuries to her right eye are severe, there are promising signs that Romo is starting to make out some colors and shapes, Schneider said.
“One of her friends went over to the house one day and wore like an orange sweatshirt kind of on purpose just to see if Chelsea would react to it, and without even prompting Chelsea asked her if she was wearing an orange sweatshirt,” he said.
Schneider said that he and others who are close to Romo are not only concerned with the physical injuries that she suffered during the event, but also the possible psychological impact of the shooting.
“It’s kind of just an unspoken thing of the emotional trauma that may come, and that’s probably going to come in the weeks ahead,” he said.
Friends, family and members of the community are still trying to find ways to help Romo.
Another of Romo’s cousins created a Facebook page that provides news and updates about Romo and the fundraisers that have been set up to help her.
Wildomar City Councilmember Bridgette Moore during a council meeting on Wednesday encouraged members of the community to attend a spaghetti dinner put on by the Elks Club which will benefit Romo.
The dinner will take place from 5 – 8 p.m., Sunday Oct. 22 at the Elks Lodge at 33700 Mission Trail. Tickets can be purchased at the door at $15 each.
Elks officials are asking that people who are interested in attending the event RSVP by calling 951-522-8765.
“People go home, they go about their day, and some may forget,” Schneider said. “But the close, close friends and the family, we’re all here for the thick of it … Everybody is super positive, we’re all just trying to lean on each other and support each other and get through it.”