A Jazz night in West Hollywood nearly turned into a nightmare for Prince George actress Keilani Rose and her friend Printz Board.
The two were hugging goodnight in a car on July 4th, when two men approached them in the dark.
Rose looked up to see a man with a gun pointed at them and screamed.
The man fired one shot and ran.
The bullet went through the window, and grazed Board’s arm, but hit Rose directly in the chest.
She was rushed to Cedar-Sinai Hospital in L.A. and given immediate emergency care for fractured ribs, and a punctured lung.
Just over a month later, she’s on the road to recovery.
“My recovery has been going miraculously, I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude for being here,” said Rose.
“It was very challenging at the beginning, it was quite heavy, I was learning how to breathe again, I was learning how to walk again, and everything was a complete new beginning, but I really feel held by so much support from the community and among the community right now that all of that love is really transmuting the pain into healing.”
Rose said her respiratory therapist told her there were a total of ten people working to save her life when she was brought into the trauma bay.
“That, to me, it’s incredible, he said I was a ‘Trauma 100’ call, which is the highest alert in the ER,” she said.
“It really blows my mind that I’m still here, and I really just can’t take this second chance for granted.”
Rose is currently in respiratory therapy and will be starting physical therapy once she’s cleared to do so.
“I’ll be regaining a lot of the strength in the right side of my body, specifically my torso because they had to open up in two different places,” she explained.
“One was a surgery to remove the bullet from my back right side, and the other one was an incision in the right side of my rib cage to place the tube in for draining the blood out of my lungs.”
“Everything that night in the ER was extremely painful.”
She added the last piece of the therapy puzzle is the rib fractures she suffered.
“I have a fracture in the front from when the bullet initially hit. The bullet, actually, when it hit my rib bone, my rib bone broke the bullet,” stated Rose.
“Part of it ricocheted back out the front and the other piece went straight right through my lung into my rib at the back, and that’s where it lodged so that seventh rib at the back is also fractured. So I’m just gently healing those two ribs as well as the lung, and then the right side of my body.”
“It makes me feel so filled with purpose, it makes me feel so held by the community, and it reminds me why I’m here, and I just feel overwhelmed by the support and by the love,” Rose said.
Rose will be doing a lot of her recovery in Prince George while staying with her family.
“I’m Lheidli T’enneh, and my great-great-grandmother is Granny Seymour, and she was known as the Matriarch of the North, and she was renowned as a healer and I find that so comforting right now in this part of my journey,” the Duchess Park grad explained.
“I feel very deeply connected to the meaning and the lessons of what the two rivers stand for, what the convergence and the duality stand for. I find that intersectionality resonates within me, with my heritage, my cultural roots, I find that intersectionality resonates within me as an artist with my passion drawn to dancing, music, storytelling, and writing.”
Rose also has Polynesian roots on her mother’s side, which ultimately led to acting for her.
“I was learning to dance as I was learning to stand.”
“My mother is an amazing Hawaiian Hula Dancer, she learned the traditional dances from her father, the Hula Kahiko and Hula Auna, she taught my siblings and I as we were growing up.”
Her mother took her to Judy Russell’s Enchainement Dance Studio in Prince George, which led to her landing a contract with Disney for one season and landing an agent who encouraged her to take acting classes.
“It all just kind of naturally flowed together, I just answered the calls that came to me, and acting fell into my lap,” she said.
“I fell in love with it, I fell in love with exploring my voice in a new way and expression in a new way, I started learning how to use my voice with more conviction and it really taught me a lot more about myself, and about humanity.”
Rose recently acted in the first season of Shoresy, which is a spin-off of the Canadian cult-comedy Letterkenny.
“It’s a complete gift, working with Jared Keeso, working with Jacob Tierney, the entire cast, it’s been so much growth, it’s been so much fun, it’s been a great challenge,” she said.
“It feels really comforting because being in that environment definitely brings me back to feelings of my hometown, where I grew up, community support, and community love. I didn’t grow up in a hockey background but I did grow up in a dance studio and that community energy is parallel to what it feels like when we’re on the ice with the boys, and it’s something that I feel like is so healing.”
Rose added they’re still waiting on confirmation for Shoresy to get picked up for a second season by Bell Media.
Once she’s recovered, Rose said she’ll also be working on some of her own ideas through her production company, Two Rivers and a Rose Filmworks.
A GoFundMe page was set up on Saturday by Brittany Good to help pay for Rose’s medical expenses.
As of this morning (Wednesday) over $25,000 has been raised.