SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Deserae Turner said she is “tougher than a bullet.”
The 14-year old Smithfield girl was released from Primary Children’s Hospital Thursday. She’s been recovering from a gunshot wound to the head in mid-February.
Two juveniles are now facing attempted aggravated murder charges. Prosecutors claimed the teens lured her to a canal in Smithfield and one of the boys shot her in the head. She was left for dead inside the canal bed.
Thursday, she was wheeled into a room full of reporters, supporters and police. It was her first public appearance since being shot.
On her T-shirt was the word “happy.”
“I’m happy,” said Turner.
She walked with a noticeable limp. Hospital officials said her injuries or details of the shooting were off limits.
” I am so thankful to be here today, to be alive,” Turner said. “I want to say thank you to all the doctors, nurses, techs, staff who have taken good care of me and helped me get this far.”
When she was first hospitalized she was in a medically induced coma. At Thursday’s press briefing her long hair was gone. Instead, she sported a fashionably shorter cut.
“I have decided that if my hair comes back curly I will grow it out long again,” she said. “But if it doesn’t then I’ll keep it short.”
Turner said she’s anxious to return home and ride “junior” her horse. She said he is her favorite horse.
There are still months of therapy that face Turner. Her mother said it strong desire to overcome her injury has impressed many.
“I have been working real hard and still have a lot of work to do,” she said. “I told my dad that I am tougher than a bullet. It is still with me today.”