LAS VEGAS — For the fourth day in a row, Lenea Sampson is at Valley Hospital visiting Luca Iclodean — a young man she didn’t know prior to Sunday.
“Seeing him get better helps me cope with this tragedy every single moment,” said Sampson.
Luca Iclodean probably wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for Sampson. The pair encountered each other during the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 and left over 500 with injuries.
“We were trying to get into this trailer, and all of the sudden he says to me ‘I’ve been hit’,” Sampson said.
She was working behind the bar at the country music festival when the gunfire started.
While hundreds were running away as a man rained bullets down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort into a crowd, Sampson stopped for Luca Iclodean — holding him up–as the two took cover.
“And I pull back my hand and I’m covered in blood. And all I see is Luca and his hand, his other hand is his phone and a picture of his mom. And at that point I just had to say okay, I can’t leave you. I’m right here. Let’s go. We have to get out of here, we have to move from this spot right now,” Sampson described through tears.
“I don’t want nobody to go through that. No parents should feel that,” said Luca Iclodean’s father, Traian Iclodean.
It wasn’t until he was safely at the hospital that Sampson got a hold of Traian Iclodean — after She got Luca Iclodean into a wheelbarrow and rolled him to an ambulance.
“I don’t think I prayed in the last 20 years how much I prayed in that night,” Traian Iclodean said.
The prayers worked.
After seven grueling hours in the operating room — Sampson never leaving his side — doctors told Luca Iclodean’s parents their son would survive.
He did lose a portion of his right lung but every day doctors have told his family he’s getting stronger.
Talking still leaves him in pain but when Luca Iclodean sees Sampson his hand gestures convey how thankful he is.
“I don’t know if God put me in the right spot at the right time, and made me strong enough for the both of us,” Sampson said.
“We are overwhelmed. I have no words to say right now how happy we are, and blessed,” Traian Iclodean said.
Traian Iclodean says Sampson is now like family — he calls her Luca’s Angel.
And while she doesn’t have wings — seeing Luca Iclodean strong enough to smile makes her feel like she’s soaring.
“He’s my hero, he’s surviving every day and every minute he gets better it just makes me even more happy and excited about everything,” Sampson explained.
Donations can be made to Luca and his family HERE.