A picture of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward is seen next to candles at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Va., Aug. on 27, 2015.
Chris Keane—Reuters
By Charlotte Alter
August 28, 2015

Vicki Gardner, the third woman who was hurt during the on-air shooting of two TV journalists in Virginia this week, has survived two surgeries and is awake and talking, her family said in a statement Friday.

Gardner was being interviewed by WDBJ journalist Alison Parker when Vester Flanagan fired the shots that killed both Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Gardner was shot once in the back. Her family says Gardner’s response to the shooting and subsequent surgeries revealed her strength and determination to survive. “After being injured and having witnessed the murders of Alison and Adam, she walked herself to the ambulance and called her husband to let him know what had happened,” they said in a statement to WDBJ.

Gardner endured two surgeries: one to address her life-threatening injuries, and the other to repair the damage done by the bullet. She lost her right kidney and had to have a portion of her colon removed, but her family said she is alert and talking.

Her family also expressed condolences to the families of Parker and Ward, and said they are “heartbroken” at their loss. “Adam and Alison always made getting up in the morning a little bit easier and a lot more fun,” they wrote.

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