Dr. Shiva Ghaed treats patients suffering from combat-related trauma, so she’s used to hearing harrowing stories. Last year, she got the chance to see it firsthand.
In October, 2017, she responded to a new group of traumatized people: survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
In an attempt to make the community of country fans comfortable, she set up free group therapy sessions at In Cahoots, a country music dance hall in San Diego. But it’s not just her work experience that prepared her to help traumatized survivors of the concert.
On the night of the shooting, she was also there in the audience.
“Whether it was divine intervention or just dumb fucking luck, I don't know,” Ghaed said.
But as proud as she is of the people she’s seen over the past year, she acknowledges that she’s still concerned about the people she hasn’t seen. “A lot of people still haven't gotten help,” she says.
VICE News visited the group therapy session as survivors held their one-year check-in meeting.
This segment originally aired October 1, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.