What a devastating tragedy…
On Sunday in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock began firing at Route 91 Harvest Festival attendees, killing at least 59 and injuring 527.
One of those killed was 28-year-old Andrea Castilla.
The Huntington Beach, CA-native traveled to Nevada with her boyfriend Derek Miller to visit her sister Athena, and to celebrate her birthday. Little did she know, her partner of seven months was going to propose.
Her sister tells People:
“He told me after she had passed… They were planning on staying on until Thursday in our guest room… He told me, ‘I was planning on asking her this weekend with you guys… We talked about spending the rest of our lives together.”‘
Andrea’s brother Adam adds:
“They had promise rings, and they always talked about it… Derek had asked my dad’s permission. He wanted to start a family with her.”
The Sephora employee attended the country music festival with Derek, Athena, and her sister’s fianc├â┬⌐. After 10 p.m. during Jason Aldean‘s set, the beautician was hit in the head.
Athena recalls the chaos and confusion of the scene:
“We just weren’t sure what it was at first… Then everyone started running… Next thing you know… [Andrea’s] on the floor… My fianc├â┬⌐ and I covered her body to keep people from stepping on her… Her whole hair was drenched in blood. The gunshots kept going and going. We were just praying we were going to make it.”
Once the shooting stopped, Andrea was transported to the hospital in the back of a truck. Her sister recalls:
“There were people on the streets trying to take people… I was holding onto her head and trying to keep her from losing so much blood, talking to her, kissing her, telling her she was going to make it… She was trying to breathe. She was struggling, her eyes were closed… She was just struggling really bad… We all did our best to help her get through it. We did the best we could.”
The next morning, her family was told she died shortly after arriving.
Despite her final moments, Castilla’s loved ones remember the makeup artist for her ambition, passion, and heart of gold.
After her mother died in 2003 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Andrea wanted to make other cancer patients feel beautiful, inside and out. Her brother recalls:
“She was so focused… When she told me what she wanted to do, it was like a light lit up. She wanted to do it because it helped so many other people… She wanted to make everybody look beautiful and feel beautiful… She was a true dreamer… Anytime she would look at anything, it was always positive. Anything and everything, she would always turn it into a positive.”
R.I.P. Andrea. You will be missed.
[Image via Facebook.]