This couple is counting their blessings in more ways than one. Brandon Helmick and Mykenzie Lane were enjoying a date night out at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas last October when they suddenly found themselves in the line of fire.
Stephen Paddock, a gambler and real estate businessman who would later take his own life, fired more than a thousand rounds into the gathered crowd, with one of those bullets striking Lane, 22, in her left ankle, through her cowboy boots.
“The first round went off and he shielded me,” Lane told People of Helmick, whom she’d been dating for nearly two years at that point. “Then he said we have to go.”
Helmick, 21, had slid under a storage container and tried to pull Lane in after him, but her leg was sticking out when she was shot.
“The last thing that went under [the container] was my ankle, which is what got shot,” she said. “Brandon then carried me to an Uber where we got the ride to the hospital.”
After returning to California to recoup, the couple leaned on each other to shake off the traumatic experience, though the shooting had lasting impacts on both of their psyches.
“We don’t like to be apart for long periods of time, we stick together especially at night,” Lane, who is a California State student, told the New York Post. “[But we have] endless amounts of blessings to be thankful for every day because we’re still here.”
Just last week, more than six months after that terrifying night, Helmick reaffirmed his love for Lane with a romantic beachside proposal. Helmick led Lane to “heart full of rose petals” on the shores of Laguna Beach and popped the question.
Lane, of course, said yes.
“Our relationship has always been strong, but I always had doubts that he’d leave,” she told People. “But I never doubted him after he put his life on the line for me.”
The pair are planning for an August 3rd wedding, and can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together.
“Our relationship has always meant the world to me,” Lane told the Post. “But when someone sacrifices their life for you, how could you ever get more reassurance than that?”