Teacher Abigail Zwerner, who was killed by a six-year-old student in the United States, has opened up for the first time about the difficulties of her “exhausting” recovery.
The 25-year-old was left with injuries to her left hand and chest, requiring a nearly two-week hospital stay after the shooting at a Newport News school, Virginia.
The teacher was praised for escorting 20 children to safety after they were killed.
Ms. Zwerner has now spoken publicly for the first time in an interview that airs on NBC’s “TODAY” show Tuesday in the United States.
In a two-minute preview of the interview, Ms Zwerner said she’s doing “well,” adding that “it’s been a challenge” and that she’s “overcome many hurdles and challenges.”
She added: “Some days are not so good, where I can’t get out of bed.
“Some days are better than others, where I’m able to get out of bed and get to my appointments.
“But you know, going through what I’ve been through, I try to stay positive.”
“The tragedy could have been avoided”
Earlier this month, a prosecutor decided not to sue the six-year-old.
Barrister Howard Gwynn said “the prospect of a six-year-old going to trial is problematic” given that a child that young would lack the ability to understand the legal system and what an indictment means.
However, according to Ms Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano, the boy had behavioral problems and a troubling pattern of interactions with school staff and students.
“I can tell you there were failures on multiple levels in this case, and there were adults who were in positions of authority who could have prevented this tragedy from happening and they didn’t,” Toscano added.
NBC reported that Ms. Zwerner’s attorneys are planning to file a lawsuit over the shooting in the next two weeks.
A head of the school board has already done it he lost his job about what happened, amid worries Mrs. Zwerner’s attempts to raise the alarm whether the boy had a gun were apparently ignored.
Ms. Zwerner told NBC News she has had four operations since the shooting, the last one on her hand, which she is now unable to fully utilize.
Daily activities have become more difficult for her, such as opening a water bottle and getting dressed.
“Physical therapy is not only physically exhausting, but mentally exhausting. I would have to move them once every hour, for the whole hour,” she told NBC.
Ms Zwerner added: ‘I’m just manipulating them to get that blood flowing and getting that movement back into the hand.’
To know more:
Boy ‘used his mother’s legally owned gun’
The teacher texted loved ones to say the school did not act
The January 6 shooting raised new concerns about the school and gun safety, as police said the boy had taken a gun that belonged to his mother.
The legally owned 9mm pistol was found in the boy’s backpack on the day of the shooting.
In a statement, the six-year-old’s family said the the gun was “safe” in their home when he got it.
“Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children. The gun our son had access to was protected,” the family said in a statement provided by their attorney, James Ellenson.
“Our hearts go out to our son’s teacher and we pray for his recovery in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy as he selflessly served our son and the children at the school,” the statement continued.