(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) — A teenager critically injured in last month’s Kalamazoo shooting has been able to open her eyes and look at her parents, her family said Wednesday.
Abigail Kopf, 14, was one of eight people in a series of shootings in Kalamazoo that left six dead. Suspected shooter Jason Dalton, an Uber driver, was arrested and charged with the murders.
Abigail was gravely injured in the shootings and her heart stopped temporarily due to her injuries, according to officials from Bronson Methodist Hospital. The hospital confirmed on Tuesday that Abigail was doing better and had been upgraded to fair condition.
Her family posted a statement today about the teen on an online fundraising site.
“She looked at us tonight [Tuesday night],” her parents wrote. “Her right eye is too swollen yet, but she managed to open her eyes and recognized us.”
The family also said that doctors are hopeful that she’ll soon be able to go to a rehab facility as soon as next week, while she continues to recover.
“Doctors are saying Abbie may be moving to Grand Rapids for rehabilitation possibly next week!” the family said online. “It seems unbelievable to receive such wonderful news.”
Abigail’s injuries were at first so severe that her doctors at Bronson Children’s Hospital were concerned she was at risk of becoming brain dead.
“Following restoration of her heartbeat, our team shared with her parents the grave nature of her life-threatening injuries,” Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies, medical director at Bronson Children’s Hospital, said in the statement last week. “Due to both the nature of her injuries and efforts required to sustain her life, our team discussed the possibility that she could become brain dead.”
The girl’s injuries were so severe that Gift of Life, an organ and tissue donor organization, was contacted with the permission of Abigail’s parents, but Abigail was never declared medically brain dead, according to the doctor.
The teen had been at a concert with her family when she was injured. Her grandmother was killed in the shooting, authorities said. A judge has denied bail for Dalton, 45. Kalamazoo police Det. Cory Ghiringhelli told the court that Dalton admitted to investigators “that he took people’s lives.”
“Abigail, her parents and our team continue to fight hard for her life,” Lane-Davies said last week, before the teen’s condition was upgraded. “In spite of the seriousness of her injuries, we are encouraged by the relative stability over the last few days and her responsiveness to her parents and our team.”
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