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Nurse Dies While Protecting His Orthopedic Surgeon-Wife During Mandalay Bay Massacre

Sonny Melton, RN, one of the 59 reported deaths during the Las Vegas shooting on Sunday night, protected his wife from deadly gunfire.

Published: October 3, 2017

HUSBAND HERO Sonny Melton, RN, died while shielding his wife, Heather Gulish Melton, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, during the Las Vegas shooting.

An orthopedic surgeon is alive today, she says, because her husband, an ER nurse who sometimes assisted his wife in surgery, shielded her from gunfire during the Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night.

"He saved my life," Heather Gulish Melton, MD, wrote in a statement to USA Today. "He grabbed me from behind and started running when I felt him get shot in the back. I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe."

Sonny Melton, RN, 29, from Big Sandy, Tenn., worked at the emergency room and ICU at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tenn. He also assisted his wife in surgery.

Mr. Melton and Dr. Gulish Melton were married in June 2016 and had just finished building a house together on Kentucky Lake, Mr. Melton's friend, Jesse Kelly, told The Jackson Sun. "I think they were in Vegas taking a trip to go to the concert to celebrate that," says Mr. Kelly.

Mr. Melton graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing accelerated degree in 2015 Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and was president of his BSNA class, says the university.

Before his time at HCMC, Mr. Melton worked as a surgical intensive care unit RN for West Tennessee Healthcare. "He was a kind, compassionate nurse who lived life to the fullest," his former nursing director, Trisha Ross, says in a statement to The Jackson Sun. "He took great care of his patients."

Brielle Gregory


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