Injured woman aided by coworkers

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Before last Tuesday, Austin resident Jasmin Rodriguez could carry out mundane tasks, such as walking and sitting, without any aid.

Now, she cannot stand for an extended period of time without becoming exhausted.

Rodriguez suffered from a gunshot wound to her stomach after a shooting in her neighborhood on Nov. 2. Austin-Travis County EMS transported Rodriguez to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, where she was in stable condition in the intensive care unit. Doctors moved her to immediate care Thursday and restricted her to a clear, liquid diet, said former coworker John Johnston.

“She needs to rebuild her abdominal muscles so she can get out of bed or out of a chair by herself,” Johnston said. “It’s about teaching her body to get used to the regular, daily routines.”

At about 5:17 a.m. on Nov. 2, Rodriguez let her dog out of her house before heading out to Seton Medical Center Austin for her nursing shift. She saw someone peeking through the fence in her backyard, but didn’t think much of it, said coworker Vanessa Martz. Rodriguez brought her dog indoors and made her way into the hallway when neighbor Howard Huynh, a former UT student, shot at her.

Rodriguez began to yell at her partner and roommate, Darlene Derocher, to call 911. Derocher went to use a phone in her home office when she spotted the gunman in their home, Martz said.

“He had his gun down when Darlene saw him,” Martz said. “She looked at the guy for a second and realized what was going on. She went into the room, shut the door and ducked as he raised his gun.”

Huynh was attempting to flee from police when he jumped the fence into Rodriguez’s backyard in the 12300 block of Tomanet Trail in North Austin.
Officers heard gunshots near her home, where they found her with a gunshot wound. APD Officer Will Ray later fatally shot Huynh in a Jaguar dealership behind Rodriguez’s home.

Since about 2004, Rodriguez worked as a vet technician at the Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin. Her former coworkers at the animal hospital established a fund to raise money for her living expenses for the next couple of months. They raised about $700 as of Monday — about 18 percent of their goal of $4,000, said Jennifer DeRuyck, a veterinarian at the hospital.

“At work, she could sit with people, help them understand what was going on and try to make the best of the situation,” she said. “Now that things have turned around, we’re trying to do the same thing for her. Medically, we couldn’t do much other than be there for her, so we thought we could give her money.”

DeRuyck said Rodriguez is working hard throughout the long recovery process, which includes physical training and eating progressively solid foods.

“She’s trying to make the best of this,” DeRuyck said. “She got so excited today because someone brought her macaroni and cheese, and she could actually eat some of it, even though it was only a few bites at a time.”

Doctors have scheduled Rodriguez’s release for Friday, but she will continue physical therapy and visits to outpatient centers until she is fully recovered, DeRuyck said.