Abigail Kopf: Kalamazoo Rampage Survivor's Recovery Imperiled

Image: Kalamazoo shooting victim Abigail Kopf, 14
Abigail Kopf, 14, is one of the Kalamazoo shooting victims.Family photo

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By Corky Siemaszko

The Michigan teenager who survived being shot in the head by a gunman on a rampage through Kalamazoo has taken a turn for the worse, her family says.

Abigail Kopf, whose skull was shattered by a bullet, has developed an infection so bad that doctors will have to remove the plate protecting her brain, according to a post on the Facebook page where her family has been chronicling the 14-year-old's recovery.

Abigail Kopf, 14, is one of the Kalamazoo shooting victims.Family photo

"The infection is bad enough that the plate will be removed," the latest post says. "She will be without a plate 6-12 weeks before it is replaced again. We are back to square one."

The family reported on Friday that Abigail was fighting an infection "on one of her incisions" and doctors were treating it with antibiotics.

"If all goes well and the infection is only on the upper layer of skin, then a skin graft will be applied," the family reported. "But if it has gone down to the plate, the plate will need to be removed, then she will have to heal for three months without a plate again. Afterwards, it will be replaced."

The situation, according to the family, "is extremely stressful."

"On top of that, her pet pig, Hamlet, is being put to sleep because his old, bad legs in the front are no longer working and causing intense pain," according to the family. "When it rains, it pours."

It was a disheartening development for the plucky 14-year-old who had been initially declared brain dead after she was shot Feb. 20.

Doctors were preparing to harvest the teenager's organs when Abigail suddenly squeezed her mother's hand.

Since then, Abigail recovered to the point that she was able to walk out of the hospital with some help and continue her grueling physical and other therapy at home.

Meanwhile, the 45-year-old Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton remains jailed, accused of randomly roaming Kalamazoo, killing six people and wounding two, including Abigail.