WDBJ shooting survivor on the road to a full recovery

Posted at 12:14 PM, Sep 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-06 12:14:11-04
Vicki Gardner and family.

Vicki Gardner and family.

Prayers, stories and adorable dog pictures are some of the things uplifting Vicki Gardner’s spirits as she recovers from a bullet wound in a Virginia hospital, according to a family Facebook page.

The chamber of commerce executive was shot during a live news broadcast in Virginia while she was being interviewed by two WDBJ-TV journalists. Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were killed in the August 26 incident. The shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan II, died of a self-inflicted gun wound hours later.

Gardner underwent two surgeries after a bullet came within “centimeters” of taking her life, her husband, Tim Gardner, told ABC News.

“Today was another milestone day for Vicki’s recovery. She was able to open and read get well cards from all over North America for hours,” said a recent Facebook post from an account created to chronicle her recovery. “She endured back to back physical therapy, occupational therapy, x-rays, and surgeon visits with a smile on her face.”

Vicki Gardner

Vicki Gardner

Other posts included photos of a smiling Gardner surrounded by her family and her dog, Buddy.

“Her daytime highlights included the ability to take a bite of real food and a visit from her most favorite guy in the world… Buddy! (Sorry Dad, but it’s true.),” Gardner’s daughter wrote.

Although the feedback from hospital caretakers has been positive, they continue to monitor Gardner’s wounds for infections, her family said.

The family also shared news of “Vicki’s Vision,” a community center project that seems to occupy Gardner’s thoughts during her recovery.



“The idea is to provide a large center to be used by people in the region as a gathering place and resource for everything from adult/higher education classes to large town hall meetings. Vicki’s Vision started long before last week’s devastating events, however, the creation of a community center could be a way to strengthen and heal our community,” her family said.

Family members did not indicate when Gardner will be released from the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, but said they had no doubt of her full recovery.

“Vicki is already giving Tim vacuuming and sheet changing orders. This is a clear sign that things are getting back to normal. Thanks to everyone for your funny comments, kind words, and powerful prayers,” her family wrote.