The most severely injured survivor of last year's Amish school shooting is totally dependent on her family for care, but has shown slow but steady progress in the year since the attack, according to a statement today from the community.
As the one-year anniversary of the Oct. 2 massacre nears, the committee handling the $4.3 million in donations that poured in from around the world confirmed that no public memorial events are planned.
The Nickel Mines Accountability Committee issued its most detailed statement yet on how the Amish have fared since the shootings that left five girls dead and five others injured.
"The strength of community in Nickel Mines helps the families cope with this event that changed their lives forever," the group wrote in a four-page statement.
The committee said that reaching out to others who have endured similar tragedies has also been part of the healing. It disclosed that West Nickel Mines Amish School family members recently traveled to Blacksburg, Va., to meet with Virginia Tech officials and families affected by that school shooting and to deliver a "comfort quilt."
Four of the five injured girls have been in school since December. The fifth, Rosanna King, who was 6 at the time of the shootings, is unable to talk, is confined to a reclining wheelchair and must be fed by a tube.
Her family said in the statement that she "smiles a lot, big smiles" and recognizes family members.
A second severely injured victim recently underwent reconstructive surgery to improve her shoulder and arm. A third girl still suffers vision problems from a head wound.
The West Nickel Mines Amish School was torn down in the wake of the shootings by gunman Charles C. Roberts IV, who killed himself at the scene.
Neither the Amish nor the surrounding community plan to mark the anniversary of the shooting. The new school will be closed on the anniversary date in three weeks, the committee said.