Justin Uhart hadn’t seen Jan Lambourne since he carried her to safety on Sunday night in Las Vegas as a gunman fired on tens of thousands of people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Their Wednesday reunion at Lambourne’s hospital bedside, captured by CBS News, was understandably emotional.
“There she is! Hey, how you doing?” Uhart said, embracing a crying Lambourne.
Lambourne, recovering from a gunshot wound in the stomach, was relieved to see Uhart was all right, she told CBS. “It was a rough night for both of us, but if it wasn’t for him, I would not be here.”
Uhart said he spotted the wounded woman on the festival grounds and helped carry her to a field, where medical personnel were treating the injured.
“It’s just an instinct. I don’t know,” he said. “I put my hand on the wound … and then I start screaming, ‘Medic! Medic!’ She was terrified.”
He attempted to distract her, he added, asking questions about her cats and her home.
“She was in a lot of pain. … And I said I won’t leave her, and she had a death grip,” Uhart recounted. “It’s a desperate grip that I cannot describe. She was always saying don’t leave me … and I promised, I just promised I wouldn’t leave.”
Uhart stayed by Lambourne’s side, holding her hand until she went into the operating room, she remembered.
“I wasn’t letting go any more than he was, I think ’cause, you know, we were gonna survive this and we did,” she said.
Lambourne and 171 others remain hospitalized in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. About 317 people have been released after treatment for injuries.
Officials still haven’t determined a motive.
The gunman may have had help in the attack, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a news conference Wednesday. The sheriff said the killer, who shot himself in the head as police closed in, likely plotted an escape for himself.