On July 20, 2012, Anderson was shot in the face. The bullet traveled through her nose and into her brain. She had other injuries, but this one was the most severe.
Her quality of life was in question.
"Whether she can still compose music, whether she'd be the same person, all of that was up for grabs," Austin Hogan, Petra's fiancé, said. "They didn't know how bad it would be. It just was day by day."
While at The Medical Center of Aurora and Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, Anderson was fighting for more than just her health. Her mom, Kim, was battling cancer and hoped an experimental treatment would help.
"From the moment I got out of the theater, that was what I was thinking about, I have to be OK. I'm going to be able to take her to get this treatment," Anderson said.
Anderson's sister had to travel to Houston with their mom. But Petra but was able to tell her mom goodbye.
"I got to see her. I got to talk to her, and I got to play the violin for her," she said.
Today, life is good.
"I'm preparing my wedding. That's a really happy thing to be doing. There are a lot of times where I just miss my mom a lot, but I know that she would've wanted for me is to live life and to enjoy it. I'm going to do that," Andersons said.
Petra is counting her miracles.
"It's a grace of God that I had not only the medical team that worked on me but just, the injury itself, the perfect time, the perfect place. There is no other explanation," she said.
The future looks bright. What happened July 20 doesn't control her. Anderson said she's moving on.
"[I'm] very excited, very excited for the future. It has brought us together in a lot of ways," Hogan said.
Anderson is still undergoing some speech therapy. The couple plans to get married in March and move to Maryland shortly after. Both will attend University of Maryland at College Park for their graduate degrees. Both want to pursue Doctorate degrees and eventually get teaching positions in a University.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)