A Saskatoon woman was especially grateful to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends after surviving a mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Janelle Balaski was in Las Vegas for a work conference on Oct. 1 when she and some friends decided to take in the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
She was in the audience when Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from a hotel window overlooking the crowd. The shooting spree left 58 people dead and injured hundreds more.
Despite the horrific events, Balaski stayed in Las Vegas after the shooting and attended her conference through the week.
Balaski said she had a hard time leaving her hotel room, particularly at night.
“Everybody wanted to do all these fun things that Vegas had to offer and I wanted nothing to do with it,” she said.
Balaski said she was glad to finally get off a plane Friday at the Saskatoon airport.
“It was just a big sigh of relief, to have people you know be there and see the faces that you’ve been thinking about all week,” she said.
Balaski said her experience in Las Vegas left her with a deep appreciation for spending time with her loved ones this Thanksgiving.
“This past week kind of drove it down deep that you never know when you might get to see them again,” she said.