On the night of Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Miriam Lujan was seven months pregnant as she enjoyed the music at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas before a gunman opened fire on the crowd from his suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel across the Strip. The expectant mother, who was at the concert with two friends, found a guardian angel in 52-year-old Sue Ann Cornwell, who handed Lujan her sister's backpack to shield her belly and laid on top of her to protect her from the spray of bullets.
Both Lujan and Cornwell survived the tragic event that killed 58 and injured nearly 900 others, and though they never exchanged names after escaping, social media led them back to each other months later. With a 4-month-old baby boy in tow, Lujan visited the woman who saved her and her unborn child's life, and their interaction will bring you to tears.
The pair met in the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden, which Cornwell visits weekly to pay her respects to the memory of Denise Burditus, a 50-year-old woman who died in the back of Cornwell's pickup truck after her interaction with Lujan. When Lujan and her baby boy approached, the women hugged, and Cornwell took baby Xander in her arms when he started to cry.
"Auntie Sue Ann's got you. You can cry all you want; we are just happy you're crying," Cornwell told the boy, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal; adding to Lujan, who found Cornwell while scrolling through survivor groups on Facebook after a three-week search: "I'm so glad you found me. I've been looking."
The new mom, who delivered her healthy baby boy a week before his due date, wants her son to eventually know about the people who didn't make it the night of Oct. 1, and about all that was done, particularly by Cornwell, to help him and his mom survive. "He's already part of history, and he doesn't even know it," Cornwell said. "Out of all the ugly, here's this child that survived . . . One day his mom is going to have a story to tell him."