*“That was the night that my life, and the lives of my friends, and so many others were changed forever,” Kymberley Suchomel told the Victorville Daily Press the day after the shooting. “I might have escaped unharmed, but I know that I’ve been emotionally and mentally scarred for life.”
A little more than a week later, Suchomel, who suffered with epilepsy, would be dead.
Suchomel and her friends went uninjured when gunman Stephen Paddock unloaded his rifle on 20,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Lass Vegas on October 1. The women were among those attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Sadly, the co-founder of the High Desert Phoenix Foundation would be found unresponsive in bed only a week later at her Apple Valley home.
Julie Norton, Suchomel ‘s grandmother, had come to care for her 3-year-old great-granddaughter shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Monday, October 9, when she found her granddaughter; who she believes may have died in her sleep.
In an interview with the Daily Press Norton said she thinks her granddaughter endured a lot of stress from the shooting incident.
“Kymberley had epilepsy and she’s always been prone to seizures — she told her friend that she recently had three focal seizures. I believe the stress from the shooting took her life,” Norton said.
A Columbus Dispatch article reports…
Suchomel, who was taking medication for a pituitary tumor, shared her fear of trying to fall sleep at night as the “sounds of gunfire” become louder in her head and the images of “broken and bloody bodies” flashed through her mind.
She also took to Facebook to share how the “most ridiculous things,” such as the sound of her alarm or loud voices, would send her heart racing in fear. She also shared how fear would sweep over her when her daughter would toss her toys, move too quickly or begin talking loudly after being quiet.
Kymberley and her grandmother started the Phoenix Foundation nearly a decade ago in honor of family friends Bodhisattva “Bodhi” Sherzer-Potter, 16, of Helendale, and Christopher Cody Thompson, 18, of Apple Valley — who were murdered in an abandoned military bunker near Helendale.
The foundation has since helped many High Desert residents who have suffered a tragedy with financial help and services.
Our hearts go out to Kymberley’s husband Mike, their young daughter, her grandmother Julie and the rest of her family. This has got to be a tough one. Rest in peace now, Kymberley.