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Pacific Graduate Making Remarkable Recovery After Colorado Movie Theater Massacre

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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AURORA, Colo. (CBS13) – A recent University of the Pacific graduate was walking and talking on Monday, pretty amazing considering she was shot in the face during the movie theater massacre Friday that killed 12 people.

Petra Anderson’s story has touched people all over the world. She is an accomplished musical composer and before the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., on Friday during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” she was dedicating a lot of her time taking care of her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and only given months to live.

But now it’s her mother who sits by Petra’s side in the hospital.

Petra probably shouldn’t be alive. She was shot through her nose, the bullet lodged in her head, but somehow she’s been able to even shock doctors by her progress.

“Doctors told us initially she shouldn’t be alive because of where her injury is, but she’s not only alive, she’s walking around, talking to people, eating real food,” her sister Chloe told CBS13 in a phone interview on Monday. “It’s just a relief to see.”

“She’s groggy from being on her medicine, but we’re grateful for that because at least she’s not in pain.”

It’s a relief this family hasn’t seen in a while. Just weeks before the shooting, Petra’s own mother was only given months to live. She is battling breast cancer that has spread all over her body in her liver, lungs and bones.

“Right now we have some very hopeful options for my mom by they are all very expensive,” Chloe said.

Petra’s sister says her mother hasn’t left Petra’s hospital bed since the shooting and won’t until she leaves for her own treatment at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, an effort to help the family has drawn widespread support from the UOP community.

“She had a family at UOP,” Chloe said. “She was adopted by the community and it was wonderful to see. She really thrived there and loved her professors and classmates and they all loved her.”

That support is helping fuel her recovery.

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