Teen survivor of Kalamazoo shooting may be released from rehab sooner than expected

Courtesy: Kopf family

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Doctors say the youngest survivor in the Kalamazoo shooting spree might be ready to go home sooner than initially expected.

Fourteen-year-old Abbie Kopf, who began rehab in Grand Rapids two weeks ago, is getting out of bed and walking on her own. She’s also swallowing liquids and soft foods like cottage cheese and pudding.

Doctors at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids have told Abbie’s parents that their daughter might be ready to go home in four to six weeks instead of the ten weeks they first predicted.

On Thursday, Abbie’s mom snapped new pictures of her daughter smiling from her hospital bed, which is covered with stuffed animals from well-wishers. She has another bag full of “stuffies” in the room, also gifts from supporters.

Abbie was shot in the head on February 20, allegedly by Jason Dalton, while she sat in a car in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Kalamazoo with four other women, all of whom died.

The teen’s heart beat stopped during initial attempts to save her life, but was restored.

Abbie is speaking more and using her writing tablet less as a means of communication. Doctors have said it will take longer for the Harper Creek Middle School student to fully recover her speech than other abilities. She currently speaks in a whisper.

Abbie’s parents, Gene and Vickie Kopf, have been thanking supporters and updating Abbie’s progress through a GoFundMe page that had raised more than $65,000 as of March 24.

They plan on starting a Facebook page, perhaps in a week or so, where they intend to post pictures of Abbie and share news about her recovery. They hope to update the Facebook page almost daily and will connect it to a Twitter account as well.

>>Our sister station WOOD-TV first reported this story

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