14-Year-Old Kalamazoo Survivor Abbie Kopf Knocked 'Back To Square One' After Infection
A skull infection has derailed the recovery of 14-year-old Abbie Kopf, who survived being shot in the head by a gunman who went on a rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
"We are back to square one," the girl's family wrote on her Facebook recovery page.
One of the incisions on her head became infected, according to the post, and it spread down to the three-dimensional plate in her head that replaced brain and bone blown away by an attacker's bullet.
She will have to have the plate removed, and will be without it for six to 12 weeks, her family said.
Less than two months ago, she had walked out of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, holding the hand of her mother, Vickie. "We don't need that stinkin' wheelchair, do we?" her mother asked.
"No," said a smiling Abbie.
She was one of only two survivors after Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton allegedly killed six people across town. Tiana Carruthers, 25, was shot four times and suffered two broken legs and a broken arm. She was trying to shield children in a playground when the gunman opened fire.
He has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and remains jailed without bail.
Abbie's family declined an interview from InsideEdition.com. On Abbie's recovery page, they wrote, "We regret to say that we lack the time to answer individual private messages asking how she is doing. We will be happy to post her status on this page or her Twitter feed. Please stay tuned to either of these sources for developments."
Abbie has faced a Job-like series of traumas beginning with being shot in the head outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in January. She was with a group of older women who had taken her to a live performance.
They had stopped for a late dinner.
Emergency room doctors told the Kopfs their daughter wouldn't make it. But as they discussed organ donation and Vickie begged Abbie for some kind of sign that she was still there, Abbie squeezed her mother's hand.
From that day forward, Abbie made amazing progress. She walked again. She talked again. It was far from easy and required great stamina and sheer force of will.
But she did it.
Being set back by an infection is "disheartening," her parents wrote. Another heartbreak has occurred – Abbie beloved pet pig, Hamlet, must be put down because "his old, bad legs in the front are no longer working and causing intense pain," her parents wrote on Facebook.
"When it rains, it pours," they concluded.
Dozens have posted encouragement on Abbie's site.
"Hang in there, Abbie!!!! You're a STRONG young lady, I know you can do it! Don't ever give up!!!" wrote one well-wisher.
Another posted "Abbie, while things are tough now, you have shown great strength in enduring more in the past 4 months than many of us have in our entire lives. You will get through this setback."