COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — One of the Club Q survivors is speaking out as we remember those who died one year ago on Sunday.
Ashton Gamblin, 30, showed Denver7 a bookshelf inside her home filled with the mementos of those who touched her life during the time she spent working at Club Q in Colorado Springs. They are memories Gamblin said she’ll never forget. She was working the front door the night of the shooting.
“Me and Daniel had been at the front door talking. We were in the ticket booth together when everything kind of started. Kind of recounting this during the one-year mark has been a little difficult, so I’m trying to shy away from the reminder of what happened, but anything after that was just chaos,” Gamblin said.
Gamblin was shot nine times and her husband, who is in the U.S. Army, was serving overseas at the time.
Club Q survivor Ashton Gamblin reflects one year after shooting
“Twice in my right arm, five to my left arm and twice to my breast,” Gamblin said.
She said she did not know how many times she had been shot in the immediate aftermath.
Today, she said she isn’t fond of the scars the gunshot wounds have left behind. They cover the front and back of her arms. Gamblin said her recovery has been a long process and she is still undergoing physical therapy.
“I don’t think anyone realizes how hard life is without functioning arms,” she said.
This is something Gamblin had to live through every day for a while.
“One of the things we had to end up buying was a trash can that you can just motion sensor because I couldn’t press the button to open the trash can,” she said.
READ MORE: Denver7 coverage on Club Q
However, she said her arms are functioning pretty well now. While the physical pain has healed, Gamblin said the mental pain and trauma may never go away.
“I really don’t think it’s something that’s ever going to fade. It’s just learning how to handle it,” she said.
She said she has been able to go to the grocery store now, and even attend some concerts, but still has her moments.
“Bands like to use pyrotechnics. It’s not something I ever thought about before or questioned but it’s something that can cause an issue,” she said. “I have a tendency to shy away from a lot of things now, unless there’s security at an event.”
Gamblin recently went back to work. It’s a remote job that she had before Club Q, but a less stressful role now. One thing that she has found to be comforting is connecting with other mass shooting victims from around the country, including Club Q survivors.
“You have that immediate almost trauma bond. You have this connection of, ‘Hey man, we’ve been through almost the same thing but we’ve got this and will get through it together,'” she said.
Gamblin said it is tough going through life without two of her friends, Daniel Aston, 28, and Derrick Rump, 38. They were both killed in Club Q.
“Derrick was always the kind of person I could complain (to about) literally anything under the sun,” Gamblin said. “Daniel — you could just jump into and he was going to welcome you in with open arms.”
Gamblin said it is important to remember and speak out for those who died that day.
“Keep using our voices to advocate, speak out and make sure the ones we lost are the ones still being remembered,” she said.
As for the survivors, Gamblin said it is only just the beginning.
“Watch where we go because we’ve only just begun,” she said.