As more and more details emerge about the chilling Colorado shootout during a film screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' a miraculous survival story has also come to light.

A young woman who was shot in the head during the cinema massacre has been hailed as a "miracle," after she was struck by a deadly shotgun pellet but survived because the pellet crossed through the exact course of her brain defect she was unaware she had.

Petra Anderson, a 22-year-old musician, lived because she had a rare genetic condition that left her with a small channel of fluid running from the front to the back of her brain. When she was shot in the face, the projectile followed the exact course of the defect, avoiding vital areas and lodging in the rear of her head. After five grueling hours of surgery, doctors managed to remove the pellet.

The violinist, who had recently graduated from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific in California, is due to start a master's degree in Maryland.

Miss Anderson's mother Kim Anderson said her daughter was expected to make a full recovery. "I believe that she was not only protected by God, but that she was actually prepared for it," she said.

Brad Strait, the family's Presbyterian pastor, said, "Kim and I know a miracle when we see it.”

12 people were killed and 58 injured in the shootout. Suspect James Holmes, 24, who later identified himself to police as "The Joker," made his first appearance in court on Monday.

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