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Sarah Salazar 1 Year After Nearly Death In Santa Fe, Texas, School Shooting: NPR



Sarah Salazar was 16 when the gunman went to his Santa Fe, Texas, and changed his life forever.

Allison Hess NPR


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Allison Hess NPR

Sarah Salazar was 16 when the gunman walked into her Santa Fe, Texas classroom and changed her life forever

Allison Hess NPR

5 h. In the morning, Sarah Salazar would rather sleep. Not just because it's early. Or, because she is a teenager and seems to be unable to sleep enough. Doctors say that her shoulder, lung and spinal beads have taken their leader's levels and leave her fatigue for a long time.

Her injuries also make it difficult for Sarah to do simple tasks such as swimming. At her home, in the small town of Santa Fe, Texas, there is one shower for six women – Sarah, her mother and four sisters, so she is now awake early in the shower before the others.

Later, in her room, Sarah picks up the day with a shirt – though not really her favorite dark top with thin white stripes. His wide, open neckline is now too wide, too open, too obscure. Sara's younger sister, Sonya, helps her secure her bra.

By 6:20, Sarah catches her school trip with her best friend Emma Lovejoy and Emma's grandmother Jeep Wrangler. Unlike her sisters, Sarah, now younger, is no longer on a bus to Santa Fe High School. Not since she spent the bus in 2018 May 18 A day that has changed its life forever.

According to the police, this is the day when a 17-year-old student performed a Remington 870 rifle and a .38-caliber gun in Sarah's art class. He killed eight students and two teachers and 13 others, including Sarah.

This is her story – a story about one teenager's long, slow physical and emotional struggle to rebuild her life after the school shooter almost took her

in 2018. May 18

Santa Fe, Texas, about 35 km southeast of Houston.

ScapeWare3d / DigitalGlobe / Getty Images


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Santa Fe, Texas, about 35 km southeast of Houston, satellite images of Santa Fe High School

ScapeWare3d / DigitalGlobe / Getty Images

When shooting starts, Sarah, then 16, is the last person to hide in her art room supply cabinet. Her classmates are trying to block the door, but the gunman can still see them through a small window. He directs his rifle to glass and fires.

Small lead pellets explode into the closet. Sacha neck, left shoulder and leg stroke. She falls to the floor and reaches a classmate while trying to stay calm.

Trenton Beazley also hit back. The Baseball team's second-grader catches the tug and turns. In light, he can see a girl who bleeds badly from her neck and shoulders, her long black hair.

Trenton takes Sarah's jacket from her wheel and wraps her as a ring around her shoulder to stop bleeding. He doesn't remember thinking about it

"It's not like you are practicing something like that. It's more like an instinct. You just look down, and you see something you think you can work on, ”says Trenton.

Before shooting, Sarah prays that God protects everyone in the closet.

After the shot she invites God again:

Here I am. If you're ready to go home, I'm not afraid.

Students wait more than half an hour to shoot to stop and help arrive.

Emergency crews gather at a car park in Santa Fe after shooting.

Daniel Kramer / AFP / Getty Images


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Daniel Kramer / AFP / Getty Images

Emergency crew after taking pictures in a car park in Santa Fe high school

Daniel Kramer / AFP / Getty Images

Sara's mom, Sonia Lopez, says her prayers while she hears her shot in her school. She tries to get to Santa Fe High, but she has to wait for Sarah to return to the designated meeting place.

The bus after the bus brings students together with their families. Sarah never comes.

"Lord, be with Sarah. Let her be fine – Lopez prays again and again. ”

Dr. Brandon Low was called when Sarah was in hospital. Experienced in treating shooting trauma, Low says Sarah's wounds were so devastating that she was shot in the near future with a powerful weapon in a vulnerable part of the body.

Allison Hess NPR


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Dr. Brandon Low was called when Sarah was in hospital. Experienced in treating shooting trauma, Low says Sarah's wounds were so devastating that she was shot in the near future with a powerful weapon in her vulnerable part of the body.

Allison Hess NPR

Then comes the word: Sarah was shot and taken to HCA Houston Health Care Clear Lake. The explosion in the cervix caused serious bleeding. The doctors decided that it was too risky to repair the two damaged veins, so they were tied. Her shoulder joint was broken and the shell remains scattered through her body.

That's all bliss for Lopez

"I know that the Lord was there with [Sarah] because she invited him He replied:" He couldn't see him, but I know he protected it because none of it vital organs were not touched. Her brain was intact, ”says Lopez

. operations to stabilize Sarah. Dr. Brandon Low, an orthopedic surgeon calling, checks the scan and knows it is a disastrous damage.

"The screw joint was destroyed. so many units, "low says."

Low often treats guns and says Sarah's injury is a triple blow: a close distance with a powerful weapon in her vulnerable part of her body

. before Sarah's emergency shoulder operation. "The joint where the shoulder meets the nests was simply destroyed – even in X-rays, it was so many pieces," says a low orthopedic surgeon.

Allison Hess NPR


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X-ray beam taken before Sarah's emergency shoulder surgery. "The joint where the shoulder meets the nests was simply destroyed – even with X-rays, it was so many units – a low, orthopedic surgeon called on the shooting day,"

Allison NPR

The surgeon joins the remainder of the trauma team in the operating room and begins to remove the non-viable body tissues to prevent infection. They also remove as much pellets as they can, as well as the fragments from the body itself before sewing the wound.

Almost a month later Sarah will have a full shoulder change

SUMMER [19659059 Jai Gillard, who was in the classroom where massive shooting began, looks at the cross for Sabik Sheik, a changing student from Pakistan, before signing a memorial, for the victim of a Thai Santa Fe high school.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images


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Jai Gillard, who was in the classroom where massive shooting began, looked at the cross of the Pakistani exchange student Sabic Sheikh before signing it at the Memorial at Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Sarah Hospital Room Fills Balloons, Flowers and Visitors. Pop star Justin Timberlake promises his tickets to the upcoming Houston show. NFL star J.J. Watt visits. Santa Fe Strong starts showing T-shirts and shields across South Texas.

Doctors have to close Sara's mouth so that its broken jaw can heal by limiting its diet to chicken broth and apple cakes. Her best friend, Emma, ​​visits almost every day. They play cards and watch Netflix. At first Emma surprised how Sarah's neck disappeared, she says, like a rainbow,

Seventeen days after shooting, Sarah is released and returns to her mother's three-bedroom house. Although her jaws are still closed, she begins to supplement her limited diet by sucking her favorite snack, Flamin's Hot Cheetos. A small taste of old life

July She starts physical physical therapy to use a new prosthetic joint and regain some strength. Water in Sarah feels more comfortable. Her hand is lighter and also pain

In August, on the first day of school, Sarah hesitates to return to Santa Fe High. She wants to focus on her youngest years and prepare for college. Her dream school is at Texas A&M University College Station. Her dream career: nurse anesthesiologist

Sarah and her mother Sonia Lopez, who says that in recent years her strong faith is a strong source.

Allison Hess NPR


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Sarah and her mother Sonia Lopez, who says that there has been a strong source of faith in recent years,

Allison Hess NPR

Sara's mother, Sonia Lopez, is more concerned about the rebirth of her daughter. On the one hand, how does it go from the noisy 1400 school corridors?

"We were afraid that people would know you to enter the corridors? And it was: "No, I can do it, I can do it. I don't need anything that has my books, Lopez says.

But Sarah admits that sometimes return is difficult. When someone enters a classroom door, she has to check what it is before she can continue to work.

September Sarah's mother and other families who were irreversibly devastated by the massacre occurred before the Santa Fe school board. They publicly recognize their loved ones who have been killed and the ring for everyone. Then they recognize the 13 wounded, including Sarah, although the chairman of the board is trying to stop the group

Lopez is worried that the board is too little helping the community to recover and protect against future threats. She goes to the district in the lecture.

"We have to show an example, so what happened to my daughter won't happen again," she says, tears.

Sarah sits quietly, her left hand on the belt

FALL

Santa Fe Strong started in Santa Fe and all over South Texas shortly after shooting.

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Santa Fe Strong Soon After School Shooting Launched in Santa Fe and across South Texas

Allison Hess NPR

On Saturday evening, DJ pumps Mexican rancher and Cumbia music between Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus, as dozens of people blend into the community center in Santa Fe Runge Park.

This is not Sarah's party. It's her younger sister, Sonya quinceañera, her fifteenth birthday celebration – an arcade for many Spanish families. It is also the first time their enriched family and friends have had something to celebrate from shooting.

Sarah arrives late, taking the last balloon. She wears a short, sleek pink dress and a black crepe jacket to cover the scar on her shoulder. Her father Nick Salazar proudly goes from table to table to greet family and friends.

Sara's photo with four sisters hangs in her Santa Fe, Texas, home. Sara's sisters have been a constant source of love, laughter and support since the shooting.

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Sarah hangs out with her four sisters at home in Santa Fe, Texas. Sara's sisters have been a constant source of love, laughter and support since the shooting

Allison Hess NPR

"She looks like she's having fun," he says. “What's good to see her smile and everything. I'm glad she is happy. ”

“ Some of these people I met at the time of shooting, ”says Lopez, as she serves rice, beans and Cabrito with lamb for a long time.

Another survivor, Flo Rice, stops with her husband. A former alternate teacher walking with sugar cane and smiling for herself with Sarah.

After the official dance and presentation, Sarah hides and takes off the black ankle heel. She is tired and thinks about the beginning of the house.

"It was a good attention. It's nice, she says. "It was good to keep your thoughts from the other things."

The fact is that Sarai still has a lot of things to do. She can't raise her left arm in the past. At her father's home she can't reach the microwave to heat ramen pasta. In addition, her mother does not think her shoulder has been healed enough to drive safely, so even after Sarah turns on November 17, she still depends on others.

black hair without help

As a winter method, Sarah's inner circle – mother, four sisters and Emma – helps her create a new routine. When an insurance company faces a severe blow by refusing to pay for more water therapy sessions, her senior sister Suzannah encourages Sarah to do some exercise at home. Her mother is watching medical meetings. Every morning, sister Sonya, sharing a room with Sarah, helps her dress up, and her two youngest sisters – Star and Sophya – work with Sarah's home and feed her family's pets.

There is still a lot of time for this work. The family organizes regularly on Friday. And every night Sarah can find comfort and anxiety for many animals: four dogs, two cats, four parrots, 11 fish, a turtle and a goat named Michelle. Goats had to be a supper quinceañera but now sitting in the yard with chickens and duck shelters.

Sarah likes to lie in bed with her gray kittens or practically translate her Spanish.

"Netflix is ​​a cure," she says with a smile.

"I think she's slowly reaching a new normal, but I wouldn't say she's still there," says Emma. "It depends on the day. But in the end I feel it is still being processed and it has been around for a while. ”

WINTER

Once every other week, Sarah spends an advisory period to join a small therapy group with several others that affected by shooting, although they don't pay much. Only twice did they discuss

that day. A Christmas wreath that now hangs on the door of the family's laundry room. Rock, covered with magazine clippings, sits on Sarah's windowsill. Sarah prefers speaking.

"I don't know how I talk about it, how do I feel about it," she says.

But she knows, emotionally, she has a long way to go. 19659118] Reminders of big and small photography remained in Santa Fe for one year.

Allison Hess NPR


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The reminiscences of large and small photography remain in Santa Fe for one year.

Allison Hess NPR

"School health advisor – I have a woman with whom I speak – she says I consider my emotions and that's not good," says Sarah. "I do it, and emotionally, I'm not so far away that I try to keep it for myself."

Even before the trauma Sarah was pretty quiet. But since May. Even his best friend had a hard time knowing what was happening sometimes.

"She does what I do when something worries me – just who thinks things are going well," says Emma. "But you know there are still things that worry her."

At school, dirty notes can cause severe emotions. Sarah can't hear students mention their weekend hunting plans – often this tiny city of Texas. Even the moment of silence, when her school is held every morning, can be difficult

"Sometimes they say" Stop the moment of silence, "and I began to pray. And then they love: "Okay! And I love, "I can't even pause," says Sarah. Her prayer was constant comfort "morning and night and when I needed something."


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