Family of Vicki Gardner issues statement: ‘We are grateful’

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ROANOKE, Va. — On Wednesday morning, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, both employees of TV station WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, were shot to death while doing a live report from a shopping district at Smith Mountain Lake.

The person they were interviewing, Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was shot in the back and underwent surgery.

On Friday, August 28, her family issued a statement.

They said Vicki remains in good condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and is recovering well. She has undergone two surgeries since being brought by ambulance to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

We are heartbroken at the loss of Adam Ward and Alison Parker, two shining stars in our region. Our condolences go to their families, their many colleagues in the media community—especially WDBJ7, and their many friends throughout our area. Adam and Alison always made getting up in the morning a little bit easier and a lot more fun.

We are also grateful for the overwhelming love shown by you in support of Vicki these last few days. For the countless prayers, flowers, and phone calls – thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

This afternoon, Vicki remains in good condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and is recovering well. She has undergone two surgeries since being brought by ambulance to the hospital immediately following the incident on Wednesday morning. Her first surgery, performed by Carilion’s Trauma Services team, was to address the immediate life-threatening injuries sustained when the gunman shot her once in the back during the live remote broadcast. Her second surgery, which occurred yesterday (Thursday, August 27), helped to further repair the damage done by the bullet. During the surgeries, Vicki had her right kidney and a portion of her colon removed.

Vicki has shown her amazing strength in many ways over the years, and this week’s incident again revealed that strength and her determination. After being injured and having witnessed the murders of Alison and Adam, she walked herself to the ambulance and called her husband to let him know what had happened.

Today, she is awake, alert and talking, and we are grateful to the many people who have cared for Vicki throughout this ordeal – the emergency medical services workers in Franklin County, police and sheriff’s deputies from Franklin and Bedford Counties, the nurses and doctors at Carilion and all of the individuals in between who made her their priority.

Please respect our privacy during this difficult time.