MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One week ago he was unconscious. But Monday afternoon, Philip Aurich is walking the halls of a Las Vegas trauma center.
Aurich was shot last Sunday in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.
Philip is a St. Paul native, he and his brothers played football at Concordia Academy in Roseville where his dad coached.
He now lives in Vegas. Aurich was shot in the back while attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Fifty-eight people died that night as well as the gunman, Stephen Paddock, who killed himself.
As the shots rang in Vegas, so did Ben Aurich’s phone, in Minnesota. It was his younger brother’s girlfriend, Aly saying Phil had been shot. At first, Ben thought it was a joke. It wasn’t.
“I said ‘Well, get him to the hospital,’ so she was dragging him along,” Ben Aurich said.
Running on adrenaline, the couple was able to find refuge in a police cruiser. Phil and another victim were in the back seat.
“A military guy hopped in on top of the two injured guys in the back of the cop car and put pressure on each one of them with each hand and away they went,” Ben said. “She [Aly] said she looked over at the speedometer and they were 100-plus miles per hour down the highway, zooming in and out of traffic.”
A doctor was waiting outside the hospital. Phil was one of the first to go into surgery.
“Everything kind of happened in perfect unison for him to not expire,” Ben said. “Because, you know, a lot of people had the same injuries as him and they just couldn’t get help.”
One of those things that helped save Phil was the compression undershirt he chose to wear that night, coincidentally labeled “Under Armour.” It compressed his bleeding.
“The doctor said that shirt was a big part of him not bleeding terribly, bleeding out pretty much, you know,” Ben said.
Sunday night Phil got to see his kids for the first time.
He still has a bullet lodged in his lung. He lost his spleen and part of his colon. But his family is so very grateful he didn’t lose his life.
“Everything happened perfectly along the line to allow him to make it because a lot of them didn’t,” Ben said.
The Aurich family says they are very thankful for the prayers and all the people offering to donate money.
They say their hearts break for the families who lost the ones they love that night, like Minnesota single dad, Steve Berger.
In fact the Aurichs say they are turning down any donations. They are asking people instead to donate to Steve Berger’s children.
If you’d like to do that, click here.