08/01/2012 10:52 am ET Updated Oct 01, 2012

Yousef Gharbi, Petra Anderson, Suffered Gunshot Head Wounds, Reportedly Recovering Well But Long Road Ahead (VIDEO)

Aurora shooting victim Yousef Gharbi was reportedly the first patient to arrive at the University of Colorado Hospital shortly after the "Dark Knight Rises" shooting massacre.

At just 16-years-old, he along with another shooting victim from that night, Petra Anderson, 22, is pushing through his injuries and beating the odds.

Both Gharbi and Anderson suffered gunshot wounds to the head on the night of Friday July 20.

Anderson was shot three times in her arm and once through her nose at such an angle that the bullet miraculously did not cause catastrophic damage.

Gharbi, after advising his friend to get down in an effort to evade the sudden gunfire, was hit in the right side of his brain.

"Its life threatening if they take the bullet out," Gharbi's sister Katlyn told 9News one week after the shooting. "They have seen many, many people get hit and live with a bullet in their brain. That gives us hope."

Gharbi had been hooked up to a breathing tube and recently had to undergo a cranioplasty to relieve pressure on his skull, but seems to be doing surprisingly well.

His family set up public journal updates on a medical social networking site called and a Facebook page to update people on his recovery process.

Under a journal titled "Successful!!!!" Gharbi's mother posted Tuesday:

Yousef came through surgery today with flying colors!!!!

His surgeon, Dr. Allen Waziri said that he should have no problem with recovery or getting back to his normal lifestyle.

However, this has taken a toll, emotionally, on Yousef. My son is now, under anesthesia, talking about that horrible night. I believe it may have been lying just below the surface but this time it has either come up to show its ugly face or will at any moment.

Yousef has a long road ahead of him, as I have mentioned. Please continue praying for him and contributing to his cause any way you can. Our entire family has been devastated by this and can use all the support you can offer.

Blessings to all, Praises to God! He has made a miracle out of my son for the world to see!


Anderson, who is studying music composition at University of the Pacific, underwent neurosurgery and hopes to pick up her violin again and maybe even continue studying music at grad school in the fall.

According to postings made on the Caring Bridge website just before the surgery, Gharbi has been trying to speak, opens his eyes and has been responding to questions using his hands.

Gharbi's mother also wrote she thinks he was aware of what happened as early as one week after the shooting.

He is scared, not understanding, and tried to cry twice. He did raise his hand to his head, the top, and then started to cry. I am pretty sure he knows what happened.

My poor boy........I wish I could take his place.

To help Yousef Gharbi, you can send donations to 1st Bank of Colorado under the name "Yousef Gharbi."
Yo Craze Frozen Yogurt in Aurora, teaming up with The WishList Network, will also be hosting a fundraiser for Gharbi on August 10 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at 18801 E. Hampden Ave. and 1180 S. Buckley Rd.

To help Petra Anderson, please visit the Anderson Relief Fund. Listen to music composed by Anderson here.



Colorado Shooting Vigil