LAS VEGAS - A Minnesota native seriously hurt in the Las Vegas shooting has been moved from the ICU and is now able to spend time with his children at the hospital.
Phil Aurich was shot in the back as he was running away on Oct. 1, joining the list of well over 500 people injured in the mass shooting at a packed outdoor concert.
"We got a call in the middle of the night," said Phil's sister-in-law Sheila Aurich. "And Ben's phone rang and it was Phil. We turned it off because we knew he was at the concert and I was like, 'It's probably a butt dial.'"
But seconds later, Sheila and her husband Ben, Phil's brother, received another call.
"There was all this background noise and again started to think again, it was just a butt dial, until we heard Ali screaming, 'Ben, Phil has been shot.'"
Phil and his girlfriend, Ali, ran for cover.
"They had seen three ambulances, and a cop car blocking them off," Sheila said. "So they ran toward that, but as they got there, all three pulled away and then the cop sitting there said, 'I am not supposed to leave, but get in.'"
Phil was still conscious when they arrived at University Medical Center. He was rushed into surgery. Twelve hours later, he would undergo another operation.
"He had some fairly serious organ damage," Sheila said. "They had to remove his spleen, part of his colon, a ruptured diaphragm, which collapsed a lung and a fractured rib."
The 36-year-old father of two spent most of last week in ICU, not able to see his children when he began his recovery.
"Late Saturday night he was moved out of ICU," Sheila said.
On Sunday, Phil was reunited with his children.
"It was a great surprise that we got them in there," she said.
Sheila said the support has been a game-changer for her brother-in-law.
"Phil got, like, a 2-minute personal video message from P.J. Fleck, motivational and it was on the day he needed it," Sheila said. "He was really struggling to push to do the exercises to get out of the ICU and that made a huge difference for him."
On this journey, Sheila says Phil is not letting fear and pain take hold.
"They have already said, 'This is not going to stop us," Sheila said. "'We're going to go to plenty more concerts.' And if they can do it, we can all do it too."
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