Two months after she was shot in the head outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Michigan, 14-year-old Abbie Kopf has finally gone home.
The girl suffered a horrific head injury when a gunman opened fire in a Kalamazoo parking lot on Feb. 20.
Six people died when Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton allegedly went on a rampage. He remains jailed and is charged with murder, assault with intent to commit murder and felony firearm use in connection with a mass shooting, authorities said.
Abbie is one of only two survivors. Tia Carruthers, 25, was shot four times and suffered two broken legs and a broken arm. She still has a bullet lodged in her liver and continues physical therapy. She was wounded while trying to shield children in a playground.
Doctors at first thought Abbie was dead, too. But when doctors started discussing organ donation with her parents, the girl squeezed her mother’s hand.
She gingerly walked down the hall Wednesday of the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, clutching the hand of her mother, Vicki.
“We don’t need that stinkin’ wheelchair, do we?” he mother asked. “No,” said a smiling Abbie, according to video from WOOD-TV. Her caregivers lined the hallway and applauded as she headed home.
Abbie completed six grueling weeks of intensive therapy to get her walking again. She has many more weeks to go. Her left arm has some lingering paralysis and she relies on a feeding tube. She wears a helmet to protect a part of her skull that is missing and will need reconstructive surgery later on to repair that gap.
She will go to physical therapy five times a week.
“It’s wonderful. She’s an amazing kid, especially when you’re told that she might be brain dead, or that she might not make it,” her mother said in video made by the hospital chronicling Abbie’s recovery.
Her doctors said Abbie has made incredible strides.
Her progress can be monitored on her Facebook recovery page, where the newest entry on Wednesday simply said: “Home at last!”