Petra Anderson, Aurora Shooting Survivor, Saved By Rare Brain Defect

Petra Anderson, a 22-year-old woman who was shot four times — including once in the head — during the July 20th “Batman Massacre,” has made an amazing recovery thanks to a rare brain condition she did not know she had.

According to the NY Daily, doctors were initially less than optimistic about Anderson’s prognosis, fearing the bullet that struck her skull had traveled to far into her brain, possibly leaving her with major brain damage and limited functionality.

During five hours of surgery to remove the pellet, however, doctors found what many are calling an “act of God.”

Brad Strait, a pastor at Anderson’s church, the Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo., recounts Petra’s miraculous survival story in his blog Celtic Straits. He writes:

It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.

But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting, enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself. Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channeled in the least harmful way. A millimeter in any direction and the channel is missed. The brain is destroyed.

The Sacramento Bee confirmed that Petra and her family had no idea about the rare stream of fluid in her brain, and it only would have been noticed if she received a CAT scan- which she had never needed prior to the shooting.

“I believe that she was not only protected by God, but that she was actually prepared for it,” her mother said.

Anderson was moved from the ICU Monday, according to a post by her older sister, Chloe Anderson, on a Facebook page for Petra.


She’s started to walk and speak again, as well

Following Petra’s successful surgery, the Anderson has set up a page on the fundraising website,, to raise donations for the medical care of both Petra and her mom, Kim, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and has been given only months to live.

Readers do you believe Petra Anderson’s survival was a result of divine medical intervention?