Deserae Turner who survived being shot in the head by two teens in a crime that shocked her small town of Smithfield is leaving the hospital after more than two months.
She spoke Thursday at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City where she's been treated since she was found in a ditch Feb. 17. Authorities say two 16-year-old boys lured her to an isolated spot, then shot and robbed her.
“I am so thankful to be here today – to be alive,” Deserae said. “I have been working really hard and still have a lot of work to do. I told my dad that I’m tougher than a bullet – it is still with me today. But I am here and I get to go home today.”
The 14-year-old arrived in a wheelchair. She had short hair, a brace on her lower left leg and wore a shirt saying, "Happy." She thanked doctors, therapists and those who sent her prayers.
Her father, Matt Turner, said it's a joyous day and called his daughter a determined and courageous young woman.
“Des has battled for her life and for the ability to do daily tasks,” Matt Turner said. “She still wages this battle and for many years to come but her determination and courage never waver.”
Deserae and her parents declined to talk about her injuries or the circumstances of the shooting.